Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

I thought I had made a good choice with my publisher, AuthorHouse.  It was $2000 for print on demand for hardcover, paperback, and ebooks.  Then, I found out a few besides listing your book with wholesalers and online bookstores, and advertising your book on their website, they do pretty much nothing in the way of promoting your work.  It's all on you.


First, they are constantly trying to sell me more copies of my book.  And they push pretty hard.  Logic would say, If I'm selling copies, I would naturally be replenishing my stock, without being asked, because you can't sell what you don't have. 


Second, I keep getting these marketing offers.  Two to three offers a month.  These are suppose to increase my "chance" of sales.  Each of these offers cost around $2,000.  These include many things, entering your book in some quarterly, placing your book at some book show, you know the routine.  I learned my lesson after paying like $500 for a professional book review, that I could have gone direct to the source and gotten it for like $45.  One offer was for like $1900 for a 6'" x 9" space in one of their booths and some show.  After searching for the show details, I could have bought a whole 10' x 10' booth for that price.  The latest offer was last night.  Some sort of quarterly, where my specific book is suppose to be a perfect candidate, because of my subject matter.  It's suppose to be aimed at international publishers, who will pay you up front, for the rights to translate your book into other languages, and distribute them overseas.  And of coarse, as a tease, they mention the one book that the author received $4 million.  Again, they wanted me to pay them $1900.  Here was my position on that offer...If they really thought my book was such a great candidate, and so certain to be picked up, why not put my book in the quarterly for free, and simply demand a 10% finder's fee?  With the way they were trying to sell this marketing offer, I'm sure 10% is way bigger than the $1900 they were asking.


Being a first time author, I don't know if this is common practices for self-publishing, and you just have to accept it.  I'm guessing that many, if not all, probably do this to some extend.  Fortuneately for me, I spent a summer selling Fuller Brush, when I was young, so I'm not an easy touch for a salesman.  But then, I just tell them the truth. I'm poor, and i maxed out my credit card to fulfill my dream of being an author, and that I don't have the money...besides, my goal was never to be a best-selling author, it's just to break even.  Anything beyond that is a bonus.

But I am thankful for finding this site, because I have been introduced, by other authors, to sources that might be more financially acceptable for future projects.



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Replies to This Discussion

No, I made a mistake of duplicating it once.

I also made the mistake of using Author house. They talked a good game and made it sound like you would be getting your moneys worth. I was under the impression from what the person said that not only would they print the book but made it sound like they would be marketing my book also. So I paid $1500.00 and then found out the hard way that if I wanted marketing that was more money. Lets just say that was a hard lesson to have learned. I was already on a fixed budget and couldnt really afford to get my manuscrpti published.

I changed to another self publisher and they were much cheaper but they too had thier problems. And when you live on a fixed budet marketing is very difficult. On a good note I was able to claim the loss on my taxes so I atleast got most of my money back but still have 2 boxes here at home.

I see that your experience is much like mine at Publish America.  They do the same thing but they do not charge as much.  Yes the life of a new writer is hard.  No one respects us or our writting.  Even when you try to get on local radio or TV you get no answers.  a few book stores might let you do a book signing but they want at least 40% of the sell price to sell your book. 


I have a second book that I am trying to get published and this time I have gone to CreateSpace they are not free but much cheaper than most of the others and they do offer a good program.  do not give up keep working and you will make it.

I was burned by PublishAmerica on my first book.  Now I am working with CreatSpace.  they are great much lower cost if you want them to do things for you.  They did a wonderful job creating a cover for my new Book and they now offer a Hard cover service and the cost is only $99.00 for the hard cover set up after you have the soft cover complete.  Shopping cost ofr your books is very low also.  Cost per book soft cover 131 pages is $2.90 and then 40 cents per book postage.  Hard cover would cost me about $6.90 per book plus 40 cents postange.  Sure I have to do all the marketing, but that seems standard with all publishers.

yes, with self-publish, they do very little to help the authors...I am still struggling with my book to get it noticed. I have been investing time with Amazon, setting up an Author Central account, and the like...and the Author Central account helps in other ways as it shows you about 75% of physical sales in the US, and where those sales are geographically. 

The novel I am currently working on, I'll have an agent for, and he's fairly sure he can find a traditional publisher for...but i'm not holding my breath, since i'm still an unknown.

I am going to try something really outside the box with my book.  It is a Christmas Book and I am going to ask the local schools if they would be interested in a fundraising project.  They always sell cookie dough and candy bars etc.  I am going ot offer then a chance to get $6.95 profit from each of my books that they sell. i PLAN TO HAVE THE BOOK IN HARD COVER  with a list pire of $17.95.  If they pay me $11.00 for the book thye can have the difference.  I will still make some money and might get a lot of books sold

That's  a good idea...I had considered talking to clubs like the women's club, Kiwis, ect...but with my book, it's too controversial a topic.  You can also speak to independent book stores about consignments.  Independent book stores need a 40% profit margin, but for you book, listing at $17.95 would mean you would have to accept $10.77 each, which is slightly below your $11.00, but really close.  I have one local store consigning my book.  I've only sold 4 copies, but that's money in my pocket.

I did two indi book stores and you are right they want 40% off the top.  I did two book signings and sold a few books.  The topic of the book in question is a big factor as to where you can market it.  I am also going to go to the military base here and check with the book store to see if they will do a book signing.  they often look for ways to attract attention.  Getting on local TV is hard.  But I might be able to get the school fund raising to be on the local TV that could help.  we all have a hard road to travel and I wish you and your book great success.


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