Forgive the length of this, but I need advice from cooler heads than mine. This afternoon I received a phone call from the owner (I think) of Advantage Books. She said she saw my proposal on the ECPA site (that's $89 down the drain!) and asked me basically to pitch my book to her. I gave her my very best 10-minute, wow-the-audience synopsis. Then, and ONLY then, does she say who she represents: an "on-demand" publisher.
I'm certain she waited to say this because she knew I'd have given her the telemarketer treatment ("Thanks; not interested" and immediate hang-up).
They charge a minimum of $900 set-up fees.
I KNOW y'all say RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! from fee-chargers. But she raised my hopes and then sparks shot out of my hair all afternoon. I wanted to to go the dollar store and buy a couple pieces of china just so I could SMASH something.
Anyway, here's her follow-up email. Am I right in going with my gut and deleting it forthwith?
It was my pleasure speaking with you on the telephone earlier today. As I mentioned, Advantage Books has a track record of success in helping Christian authors like you publish, market, and distribute their books.
I have attached further information about our company in a .PDF file. I have also included additional information for you below.
Advantage Books, an author owned publishing house utilizing print-on-demand technology, provides comprehensive publishing services to help authors get their book into the marketplace quickly and efficiently. We also provide extensive distribution and marketing to keep your book flying off the shelves.
With Advantage Books, you can be sure to have a professionally published book that looks like any other found in a bookstore. Best of all, Advantage Books is able to have a book published and into the marketplace in less than 90 days.
Advantage Books offers three unique publishing plans with no minimum print run. Our publishing plans offer extensive distribution, making your book available to over 25,000 bookstores through Ingram Distributors. Additionally, your book will be listed on Amazon.com, BooksAMillion.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Target.com, WalMart.com, and Half.com where millions of potential customers will be exposed to your book. Your book will also be sold at AdvantageBookstore.com and via our toll-free 800 number.
Marketing support services can also be prepared, depending on your needs. We can also have your book presented by our sales staff (over 50 sales representatives nationwide) to all major book stores, chain stores, and clubs. Those include Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Target Stores, and Ingram Book Distributors.
When it comes to revenue, Advantage Books royalties are some of the most generous in the industry, 20% - 30% depending on the publishing plan you select. If you plan to sell books on site at the conferences, conventions, and church engagements that you attend, authors can expect to receive discounts ranging from 30% - 55% on the books you buy for yourself. With that, you can make a 55% royalty on every book you sell!
Most importantly, you always own the rights to your book. In that, authors are empowered to sign with another publisher should the opportunity present itself.