More from our P.O.D. Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Some companies will say or write just about anything to get your money.
I have always been offended by over-the-top marketing verbiage. Saying something is a “good deal” is one thing but trying to tell me a product or service is going to “make my dreams come true” is insulting to an individual’s intelligence. I always wonder how people can fall for so much of the garbage being shoved our way by marketing executives these days.
At BookLocker.com, we don’t dish out hype. We’re not going to tell you your book will be a best seller. We’re not going to tell you we’ll make you famous. We’re not going to insult you by telling you we’ll “make your dreams come true.” Any company that uses that type of marketing verbiage is full of hot air, and should be avoided. They want your money! We tell authors the truth about self-publishing. It’s fulfilling and it can be lucrative (that depends entirely on the book itself and the author’s marketing prowess) but it’s also hard work. If you don’t pound that virtual pavement, your book isn’t likely to sell regardless of your “dreams” or your “destiny.” Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise (while also asking you for money) isn’t being completely honest about the true nature of this business.
If you read our no-nonsense, no-bull information about self-publishing and you like us, great. If you don’t, that’s fine, too. I’m not going to pull out my thesaurus and rewrite the facts about self-publishing to try to convince you to publish with us instead of elsewhere and I’m not going to write nonsense that tempts someone’s vanity, or that takes advantage of their lack of knowledge of the industry. We don’t do business that way (and I don’t know how people that do can sleep at night).
While researching some of the “other guys'” websites for this series, we ran into some pretty outrageous statements. See if you can figure out which P.O.D. publishers these statements are from (answers appear at the end).
1. “No other publisher understands your needs better than we do.”
(Yeah, right. I’d like to see any company try to prove a statement like that.)
2. “you are choosing the world’s most affordable and convenient route”
(There are less expensive alternatives – like BookLocker – that are not only “convenient,” but that also get your book to market much faster!)
3. “Our self publishing company allows every author to control his or her own publishing destiny.”
(Your “publishing destiny?” Seriously??)
4. “providing better service and producing superior book quality”
(Most of them claim to have the best service and quality!)
5. “you maintain creative control of your book”
(But they don’t tell you that THEY own the rights to your production files – files YOU paid them to create. If you want to move your book elsewhere in the future, it will be very difficult or impossible because you will need to use old files, and then pay to have new ones designed all over again. Read the fine print!)
6. “You keep all the rights to your work.”
(Um, not exactly. Like the firm above, they – and most of the publishers on this list – also own your production files – files YOU paid them to create!)
NOTE: BookLocker.com is one of the few P.O.D. publishers that gives production files to their authors at no extra charge. BookLocker also gives a free copy of 90 Days of Promoting Your Book Online to all its authors.
7. ” the valuable opportunity to gain premium credibility”
(“Premium credibility?” Really?!)
8. “you get the very highest quality”
(Is there an echo in here?)
9. “we hold ourselves to a higher standard” and “your book is in good hands”
(Do your research before believing any P.O.D. publisher’s claims! The parent company of this firm was sued by authors in 2013 and there are numerous complaints about them online.)
10. “The chance to reach the peak of literary excellence is yours”
(Flattery will get you nowhere!)
11. “publish the book of your dreams”
(Since this publisher’s packages range up to $15,000 and more, that “dream” can be very expensive!)
12. “brings your publishing dreams to life”
(More “dreams” verbiage? Do authors really fall for this stuff?!)
13. Write Your Author Success Story.”
(But choose a less expensive publisher to do so!)
14. “It sounds almost too good to be true…”
(I can’t believe someone actually has this statement on their website!)
15. “Let your star shine.”
(“Star shine?” Really? Insulting!)
16. “Publishing a book has never been more rewarding”
(And expensive! In our P.O.D. price comparison, for like services, this is the most expensive one!)
17. “You are now closer than ever to realizing your dream of becoming a published author.”
(And, still more “dream” verbiage!)
18. “Register today to start publishing your remarkable work.”
(Since this firm will publish pretty much anything and everything, not all of their books are “remarkable.” Their own CEO admitted they’ve “easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind.” Can you imagine how insulted their poets felt after their publisher’s embarrassing admission?)
19. “Publication is a right, not a privilege.”
(But they want you to pay thousands for the “right”…up to $15,000 or more!)
20. “The Rolls-Royce of publishing.”
(This “Rolls-Royce” will cost you
21. “Our most exemplary book package rewards you with total artistic expression.”
(But you have to pay $11,000 to express yourself!)
22. “an exclusive world of publishing privileges and benefits.” and “This is a luxury service that delivers unprecedented opportunities…”
(That “privilege” and “luxury” will cost you £10999!)
23. “Give your manuscript first-class treatment…”
(That “first-class treatment” costs $8500!!!)
24. “branded with a Gold Seal stamp, distinguishing it from the work of any other self publisher or publishing company”
(You have to PAY them $2199.00 to submit your manuscript for the review and, only if your book obtains a good review, will you get that Gold Seal. We doubt many – if any – of those authors have then generated $2199.00 in book sales based on that “gold seal!!”)
25. An impartial and credible review is a priceless tool for any author.”
(The “Trifecta” review service costs – GULP – $3249.00!!! And, if your readers find out you paid for a review, your credibility can suffer. Who would trust a book review that was purchased by the author?! I wonder how many authors then sold $3249 word of books based on those fee-based reviews? Few, if any, I bet!)
26. “…we’ve helped more authors self-publish more titles than any other company”
(But they don’t tell you a class-action lawsuit has been filed against them.)
27. “Consistency and high quality printing.”
(There are plenty of complaints about this firm posted by their own authors, on their own forum.)
28. Build your book on our foundation of excellence.”
(They, too, don’t tell you about the complaints posted about them online.)
29. “A well-written book is also well read.”
(No, a well-MARKETED book is well read! This was from an advertising page for their fee-based editorial services. You SHOULD have your book edited, but not by this firm. They claim the rights to the edited versions of their authors’ production files! That means you have to have it edited all over again if you want to publish that version elsewhere in the future!)
30. “Space is incredibly limited, so make sure you’re a part of this exciting time in the indie publishing world.”
(If this publisher hasn’t already charged authors enough – packages range up to $8,499! – they want you to pay another $399 plus travel and lodging to attend THEIR conference?! They’ve been running this ad for years!)
31. “enjoy the exposure and sales that come with publishing with an established leader in the field”
(Exposure and sales have far more to do with the book itself, and the author’s marketing activities, than the name of their P.O.D. publisher.)
32. “…have published more than 40,000 titles to date, and that number is still growing – every month we add hundreds of new titles – and last year we sold over a quarter of a million books.”
(Hmmm… 250,000 books sold divided by 40,000 books = 6 books per author. That’s horrible! Who would brag about that?!)
33-a. “…the indie publishing industry’s founding father.”
33-b. “…we have been the leading innovator in print-on-demand book publishing.”
33-c. “…the leading provider of self publishing and book marketing services…”
33-d. “…one of the pioneers of the print-on-demand publishing services industry, and still leads the way today.”
33-e. “the world leader in supported self-publishing”
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When someone promises you the moon, don’t be surprised if you end up with an expensive block of cheese. And, when considering a P.O.D. publisher, skip the “you’re gonna be a star!” verbiage and instead dissect their prices and contract. Also, as I’ve always said, ask some writing groups about them. You’re bound to end up hearing from one or more of their customers who are authors like yourself. When researching P.O.D. publishers, beware of trolls, people who secretly represent a company and who post false praise about them online. Some P.O.D. employees and/or contractors masquerade as “satisfied” authors on discussion lists. Others masquerade as “dissatisfied” authors of their competitors.
I once corresponded with a “bestselling author” on a discussion list. When I googled her name, and found her website, I emailed her through that link. She had no idea what I was talking about. A troll online was pretending to be her – a so-called satisfied P.O.D. author of that particular P.O.D. publisher. That P.O.D. publisher had employees pretending to be successful authors posting lies online. Some of those employees work on commission so they have a tremendous incentive to be dishonest.
There are lots of snakes in our industry! If someone is posting anonymously, or under a first (or false) name only, or if some simple research reveals nothing about them (most professional authors have an online presence), don’t trust them. If someone is speaking (or writing) the truth, whether good or bad about a company, they shouldn’t be afraid to post their name and they shouldn’t be offended when you do some research to see if they’re real or a troll.
Here are the answers:
33-e. AuthorSolutions (owner of AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford, and more!)
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, 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).
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.
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.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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