Many authors sign up with a self-publishing/POD company, innocently expecting to pay a certain price…only to discover they’d need to pay more for services you’d expect would be included in every basic package. Here are some not-so-humorous examples:
Ingram distribution is considered imperative for bookstores sales success. Most bookstores have an account with Ingram already and some refuse to order from anybody but Ingram. If you pay Trafford $1852 to publish your book, guess what? That does NOT include Ingram distribution! You have to choose the $2297 package to get that. Infinity Publishing charges you an extra $149 for Ingram distribution. Amazon / BookSurge / CreateSpace (all the same company) offers no Ingram distribution.
A Printed Copy of Your Book
Even if you pay Xlibris a few hundred dollars to publish your hardcover book, you have to pay them extra just to get one printed copy of your book. Lulu, too, makes you purchase a print copy if you want full distribution (which also costs more).
More Than a Cookie-Cutter Template
Some POD publishers only offer template covers AND interior template design, meaning cookie-cutter book production. Sadly, many of these companies charge more than some POD publishers that allow authors to get more creative with their covers and interiors.
Let’s face it. Without an ISBN, your book is going nowhere. It can’t be in any of the bookstore systems, nor in Books in Print, nor in Ingram’s distribution network. If you sign up for the Outskirts Press basic program, you get no ISBN. Heck, you don’t even get a barcode! You have to pay $699 before you are eligible to have your book listed in Books in Print (note: adding a book to the Books in Print database takes mere minutes for a publisher to do – we do this for Booklocker.com authors at no extra charge every single day).
Some POD publishers charge authors more to produce an ebook version of their book…when they’ve already charged the author hundreds to thousands in fees. Sadly, some POD publishers, like Xlibris, don’t offer any ebooks at all. That seems silly considering how many ebooks are sold online each day.
Your Own Book Page on the Publisher’s Website
This also seems silly but some POD publishers charge authors an additional fee to list their book on the publisher’s website. Why?
A Discount for Submitting Your Own Cover
Even if you’re perfectly capable of designing your own cover, and even if you have your own professional design firm creating your own cover, some POD publishers won’t give you a discount off their packages.
Personalized Back Cover
One POD publisher makes authors pay $200 more if they want their photo and their own text on the back cover of their book. Silly, huh?
Basically, if a company is offering numerous packages to choose from, you can bet their most economical packages don’t include what you really need to make your book successful…and that a large part of their business model is seeing how much money they can squeeze out of new authors.
Angela Hoy is the co-owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com. WritersWeekly features paying writers’ markets, freelance job listings, and more for free every Wednesday. BookLocker.com can publish your book for only $492 (deduct $175 if submitting your own cover). Their package includes formatting, cover design, ISBN, barcode, Ingram distribution, ebook version, and more. See: http://publishing.booklocker.com/
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