I’ve been trying to keep WritersWeekly a virus-news-free zone (since we’re all being inundated with it elsewhere) but this must be shared.
An author recently contacted me about his publisher, which is one we have already heavily covered here on WritersWeekly. We are, frankly, shocked they are still in business. The author stated his books are no longer for sale on many online bookstores, and further claimed that the publisher blamed the printer and distributor for the availability problems. I’m thinking a likelier scenario is that the publisher owes the printer money, and that the printer simply stopped printing their books.
But, that’s a separate issue from the email the author received from the publisher, which claims they’re closed because of the virus. While their office may be closed right now, refusing to assist authors online because of that is RIDICULOUS.
First, let me explain that publishing services firms ARE able to do virtual work. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER for a company like this to not have access to authors’ files, royalties, their server, etc. The publisher has an off-site printer, which drop-ships books to customers and bookstores directly. Everything the publisher does is with computers.
The author wrote to the publisher asking for his production files. He’s been very unhappy with them and he wanted to move his book to another company. The publisher’s email he shared with us had the publisher saying someone in their office building had the virus, that the government closed their office, and then that they were disinfecting their office. They then added they had some employees working from home but that they had “ceased operations” until the situation has resolved.
HERE ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS EMAIL:
1. They state that there was a case in their office building, and then that the governor ordered their offices closed, and then that they’re disinfecting their offices, and then that they are remaining closed. So, which one is it? These duplicate excuses seem a bit much.
2. Any employee with Internet access can gain access to the company’s server to send an author their files. Period. The employees aren’t plugging their laptops directly into a server on the premises. Their refusal to send files to the author is, in my opinion, completely bogus. I bet they start using the virus as an excuse for not paying royalties, too. They’ve used plenty of bizarre excuses in the past for that.
3. They admit they can send emails…yet that’s all they can do from home? Again, totally bogus.
If your publisher hasn’t been paying royalties, or has been ignoring your emails, and if they’re now pulling the “we’re closed because of the virus” B.S., run to another publisher as fast as you can. Book sales are HOT right now because people are looking for inexpensive entertainment.
At Booklocker, all of our employees work from their homes, and always have. It has always been very important to us that our folks are able to be with their children. We wanted to be with our children, too. Since I positively abhor office politics (and wearing business clothes), and since there was no reason whatsoever for an Internet-based business to have a fancy, expensive office with a granite coffee table, we made the decision 23 years ago to never have a “real” office. Of course, not having all those extra expenses allowed us to publish books for hundreds to thousands less than the “other guys.”
Also, when you allow employees to work from home, they are far happier, and far more dedicated to your customers (our authors and book buyers!). We have the absolute best of the best working for us. I often see our folks working at 6:30 in the morning, and after midnight. The rule is, as long as they get their work done, and done well, they can work whenever they want. Our authors receive responses from our folks (including me) seven days a week. That’s how dedicated they are!
So, our decision early on was an excellent one, and is one of the main reasons why Booklocker has continued to thrive while so many of our competitors have tanked.
Many businesses are now seeing the benefits of allowing employees to work virtually. I hope that continues after this virus nightmare ends. Lower costs, less stress, less commuting (which is great for the environment!), and happy families are far more important than snooty corporate offices that, in many cases today, are simply no longer necessary.
- Complaints about Specific Publishers
- How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for Years…when so many others have failed
- YOUR PUBLISHER WENT BELLY-UP? Six Ways to Get Your Book Back on the Market ASAP!
- Is YOUR BOOK at Risk?! List of 23 Publishers Who Bit the Dust…and WHY
- Is Your Defunct Publisher Still Selling Your Book, and Pocketing All the Money? HERE’S HOW TO GET AMAZON TO REMOVE YOUR BOOK FROM THEIR SITE!
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.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
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Everyone loves it when people get together and share ideas.
Great blog, keep it up!
I agree with Chris. When both my books were in production, I found myself sending BookLocker messages on Saturday and Sunday nights, and expecting responses maybe sometime the following Monday. Not so. BookLocker never sleeps. At least that how it seems to me. I have received responses from members of the BookLocker team including Todd Engle, cover designer extraordinaire, weekends, late nights, you name it. And they’re not merely basic responses, but friendly and helpful responses no matter how trivial my queries.
It’s true. I’ve sent a few emails on weekends and received replies within hours! I appreciate the responsive service.
And I agree about the bogus excuses for that publisher closing. 🙁 Pretty lame, and borderline criminal if they’re violating contracts by not paying authors in a timely manner.