I received the following email this week:
Are you familiar with (name of large conference removed)? I ask because (name of re-publisher removed) contacted me, and said their company would like to exhibit my book there.
The representative also expressed he would like to have a video of the book on display. And, finally, he urged me to attend, telling me there will be executives from major book publishing outlets there.
What are your thoughts? Would you recommend I attend this event? The cost of the video for the book is $2,400.00. Is that reasonable for the industry?
Please don’t do it. I checked out the company and they are a re-publisher. What does that mean? They seek out recently published books, which is easy to do using Amazon, use a search engine to find the author and their contact info., and then call or email them false praise and false promises if the author will only agree to pay THEM to republish the book, often for thousands of dollars.
Most of these firms use the “we need to publish a better version of your book so we can then promote it effectively, yada, yada” sales pitch. The fact is the books will have similar, if not identical, distribution, and probably even have the same printer in the end. Sadly, many authors fall for the “you can be a best selling author if you use us!” marketing blurbage.
This firm is just another bottom feeder preying on authors’ dreams. Authors who fall victim to re-publishers later find themselves and their books in the exact same place they were – with their books on Amazon, et. al, but with much lighter wallets – to the tune of thousands of dollars. Some of these firms require authors to immediately terminate the first edition of their book so those authors immediately begin losing sales just after their initial marketing push.
Regarding industry conferences:
The only people making an impressive profit on those events are the ones organizing them, and the firms tricking authors into buying “displays” and “appearances” that aren’t going to sell enough books to pay for those displays and appearances.
Some of these snakes tell authors they should appear at those events, and offer to arrange the plane tickets and lodging up-front. They later bill the author for more than the actual airfare and lodging costs. Your book would be surrounded by thousands of other books, countless other authors, miles of tables, etc. A tiny needle in a literary haystack.
In reality, it’s really just a bunch of publishers and authors marketing their wares to each other. We don’t attend those events because it’s a complete waste of time and money. I realize some people enjoy going to meetings, attending industry events, and discussing their companies, services, or books with others, rubbing elbows, etc. But, if making a profit is your ultimate goal, you really need to weigh the costs vs. the potential (I mean very doubtful) benefits.
ESTIMATED COSTS (and these are VERY conservative) –
- Republish your book through a re-publisher: $2500+
- Airfare: $500
- Lodging: $300
- Meals: $150
- Admission: $50-$200
- A copy of your book displayed on your “publisher’s” bookshelf there: $300-$1700 (the prices vary
- And, $2500 for a book video? That is INSANE!!!
So, if you paid for the average cost of the items above, that would be $7250. Your profit per book would be around 8%-12%, or around $1.50 per copy.
$7250 divided by $1.50 royalties = 4,833 books would need to sell at that event to break even.
NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! In fact, you’ll be lucky to sell any copies at all!
And, after that, you’re right back where you started. Just with a MUCH lighter wallet.
All authors of previously published books should beware of these bottom feeders. Re-publishers are expanding
across the globe. Don’t fall for their false praise and promises. If your book is already on the market, and someone contacts you about re-publishing your book, block their phone number because, believe me, they will keep calling you. If they spam you, try to block them that way, too. However, they will probably keep trying to call you from different phone numbers, and email you from different email addresses.
If you paid someone to mow your lawn on Saturday, would you then hire another person to mow your lawn on Sunday? No, you would not. You should also not pay a book re-publisher to re-do what you’ve already paid another publisher to do, no matter how grandiose their praise and promises might seem.
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
ANGELA ON TWITTER
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.
Thank you for the excellent article. I have retweeted it. I have had several calls on my home phone regarding a company that wants to market my book. My name on my home phone is different from my pen name. So these people really do dig. On the first call, I asked how they got my number. There was a lot of hemming and ha-ing, and no real answer. I told them that I don’t need their service and to please not call me again. Right! They have called twice since. On the last call, I told them that I had submitted their number to the FDC as a fraudulent call. Fingers crossed!
I’ve been saving all the voicemails I’ve been receiving from one of these scammers so I can write an article about them. 😉
$2500 for a book trailer??!! I paid $30 for mine, through a guy in the UK that I found on Fiverr, and I’m extremely pleased with it!
I have in fact been contacted by one of these folks.
When it happens (and it isn’t very often) it breaks up my otherwise nose-to-the-keyboard schedule.
Since my company, Royal Knight Incorporated, owns RK-Books.com, I always love to ‘play’ with these guys on the phone. I get them going–really excited about all the possibilities they could have with me, then I drop the bomb — I’m going to send THEM a bill for the time I’ve spent talking with them on the phone!
They’ve just told me I’m a ‘star’ – so my time is money back to me*.
(*I have yet to get paid!*)