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Thread: AuthorHouse / WordClay / Words of Belief / Author Solutions, Inc.

  1. #126
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    everything printed must be true

    "It may be worth noting that 1stBooks neither buys screenplays nor produces movies."

    I never said that they did.

    "It's also worth pointing out that sometimes the reason all the how-to books say not to do something is ... because that thing doesn't work."

    So just because sometimes is printed in a how to book means it is the unspeakable gospel of Our Lord and Savior in Heaven?

    First Books and Vanity Presses may not be ideal, or even good for most people. But some people written books published by them that became best sellers. If it worked for those people, then they did the write thing.

    If you think first books is wrong for you, then do not publish with them. It doesn't mean that the next person shouldn't!

  2. #127
    emeraldcite
    Guest

    Re: everything printed must be true

    the problem is the the next person usually doesn't know what they are getting themselves into. they see their book being published and that's all. they don't really explore their options fully. that's why these warnings are here; otherwise, no one would bother posting about them.

  3. #128
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    that's cool

    "the problem is the the next person usually doesn't know what they are getting themselves into. they see their book being published and that's all. they don't really explore their options fully. that's why these warnings are here; otherwise, no one would bother posting about them."

    I understand, and that's quite valid.

  4. #129
    dgkgoldberg
    Guest

    Re: that's cool

    One of the things that I have noticed among people who have books through Publish America, 1rst books and other vanity publishing companies is that many of them were attracted to the speed of publication.

  5. #130
    SRHowen
    Guest

    --

    I think the majority were attracted to the ease of it--hey no rejections, no rewrites--

    Shawn

  6. #131
    emeraldcite
    Guest

    no editing

    no editing, no worries. and it's bound!

  7. #132
    cwinsten
    Guest

    AuthorHouse / 1stBooks Library

    Writing the book was hard, but not nearly as hard as dealing with the self-publisher!

    My Thoughts on Self-Publishing

    I wonít tell you which self publishing print on demand company it is, but I can tell you I wish now that it hadnít been my 1st choice to print my 1st Book.

    It all began with a bombardment of emails and phone calls and incentives to hurry up and sign on the dotted line. The contract looked fine, the promises were not outrageous.

    ďOur mission is to offer writers a set of premier services which, through the combination of superior customer service and innovative technology, help authors write, distribute, and promote their work in every traditional and pioneering format available."

    ďTo get a better idea of what your book will look like, we suggest you go to a good bookstore and look for a paperback edition of the latest bestseller.Ē

    An experienced account manager to oversee the production process and an established company to create a book that looks like any other out of a major publishing house. Sounds good to me!

    Roughly 50 emails, 15 phone calls, 2 Account Managers, the marketing director, the client services manager, and what I can only imagine must be a room full of monkeys at PCs running Adobe Photoshop Öafter all this, the frustration, incompetence, and dozens of completely unread, ignored, or disregarded instructions, my book has finally been released. I couldnít be more thrilled.

    Except for one thing.

    The title, the cover of my book, the first thing that anyone one will see when they see my book, the first thing that anyone will judge my book by, isnít centered.

    I guess Iím a perfectionist.

    Actually, its more than one thing.

    Their website image of my book cover Ė where they would like me to direct people to buy the book and promote the use of their print on demand services, is blurry. Itís not the most professional image with which to market their services, but hey, why be picky? Despite numerous attempts on my part to fix it, they canít seem to handle it.

    The dust cover on the physical copy is ill fitting. When I received my author proof, I had to ask Ė Is this the very 1st book they have ever produced?!

    Why donít they know what size the dustcover and dust cover image should be to fit their own standard size book? I asked, but no one seems to know for sure. When I complained, they stopped production entirely - without telling me!!

    And now my bigger question is, if I canít trust them with my bookís cover, can I trust them with my bookís royalties?

    Self-publishing has been a wild ride. No, I take that back, itís been a nightmare. The only thing I can say for sure is that this companyís only hiring criteria is a history of severe head trauma. Maybe Iíll write a book about it, but trust me; I wonít go with the 1st Book Publisher I see!

    Cheryl Bartlett, author of Stripper Shoes
    www.strippershoes.org


    Cheryl Winsten-Bartlett, Ph.D.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 07-13-2005 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Changed title

  8. #133
    aka eraser
    Guest

    Re: Don't go with the 1stBook publisher you see!

    Maybe it's my innate cleverness. Maybe it's the hundreds of mysteries I've read over 30+ years.

    But I have a hunch that you left a clue in your post as to the identity of this anonymous company.

    No no, don't tell me. I want to be the 1st to figure out who you published your 1stBook with. :smokin

  9. #134
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    More on PoD Vanities

    And another article in PoD, this time from the New York Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/technology/01pod.html

    Good quotes:

    <blockquote>
    <hr />
    The real challenge is not to produce books, it is to achieve all the goals of publishing - to get the books edited, distributed, noticed and, above all, bought. That is no easy feat: in the United States, 150,000-160,000 new titles were published last year, according to R.R. Bowker's Books in Print. On average, the P.O.D. titles sell just 150 to 175 copies, the companies say. Many authors are happy to pay for 50 or 100 copies of their magnum opus to give or sell to family, friends and business contacts. Others, though, confuse production with publication and end up disillusioned.
    <hr />
    </blockquote>

    <blockquote>
    <hr />
    At iUniverse, the "Star" program is another important hook. If a title sells more than 500 copies its first year, the company may invest in marketing the book and invite the author to become a Star.

    But of iUniverse's 17,000 published titles, the authors of only 84 have been chosen as Stars, and only a half-dozen have made it to Barnes & Noble store shelves.
    <hr />
    </blockquote>

    <blockquote>
    <hr />
    Whatever method of self-publishing an author chooses, one factor is the same: the author is the only one driving the sales. "The bottom line," as Ms. Yoder has learned, "is promoting yourself. When push comes to shove, it's your money."

    <hr />
    </blockquote>

  10. #135
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Another interesting quote

    From the same article, re: Random House Ventures' acquisition of a minority stake in Xlibris:

    >>These more established publishing businesses decided to invest in P.O.D. to diversify and expand their role. "There was the farm team idea - could we find authors?" said Richard Sarnoff, the president of Random House Ventures. "As niches get smaller, is it a model for the future?"<<

    But I remember that at the time the acquisition was made (in 2000), both companies made a point of explaining that there wouldn't be any crossover. So I did a little searching, and sure enough, from from an article about the acquisition, published in 2000 when the acquisition was made:

    >>Random House officials said they will not be mining the offerings at Xlibris for undiscovered writers.<<

    The whole article is here: www.wired.com/news/cultur...88,00.html

    - Victoria

  11. #136
    bazhe
    Guest

    Re: Its Not About Being Published, It's About Honesty

    Many POD titles are all screwed up through booksellers' channels. They are not listed properly, the old editions are not removed until they sell the last one, and of course they will not pay your royalty.
    Neither publishers nor booksellers care about your efforts to sell more.
    When you ask them what happened, they blame someone else, others.

    They want us to sell books when the customer cannot order them through the booksellers.

    That is a big enigma for all of us. Isn't it?

    Finally, I have US and Euro agents. I hope they won't act like many publishers, or the booksellers. Lets all pray.

    If you have any questions email me
    bazhe@bazhe.com
    Or go to my website
    www.bazhe.com

    I will share all with you my fellow writers.

    Or post it at my groups
    groups.msn.com/Bazhe
    groups.yahoo.com/group/bazhe/

  12. #137
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Bazhe

    Bazhe, posting the same messages in topics that have nothing to do with what you state is a form of spamming. You will not get people to visit your site and purchase your book by spamming them while they're trying to carry on discussions about other matters they hold to be important.

    I recommend you reconsider your actions. Post in an appropriate topic.

  13. #138
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: 1stBook Pubs sell exclusively Online for a very good rea

    Godiva, Mike Naselli's not the only writer doing that. Ever hear of Vanna Bonta? If not, it's not for her lack of trying.

    Don: Hi, Mike. Your book sucks.

    Justino, what you do to become a bestseller is write books that lots of people want to buy and read. Going around posting lies and offering false hope to the most vulnerable people you can find is not and can never be legitimate. It's dishonest. It's also contemptible.

    (Hear that, Mike? Contemptible. And by the way, your book sucks.)

    I've known lots of legitimate marketing and advertising people. There are worlds of difference between what they do and what Mike (hi, Mike!) Naselli does. It's not just a matter of pitching your product to people who are likely to buy it. There's the little detail of what you say when you pitch it. If you don't see anything wrong with blatant, shameless lies, that's your choice. It's my choice to judge that if so, there's something wrong with you.

  14. #139
    pammar
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks was OK

    Realistic first time author here. Unless your name is "Stephen King" your best bet to break into the business is self-publicatin, although I have no interest in 1stBooks. I'm one of those authors who has stories to tell and just wants some readers. I don't care if I make money It is almost impossible to publish a novel if you are unknown. I think POD publishing is great. I know I can do some marketing and get some readers, and that's thrilling to me.

    If we all waited for traditonal publishers, most of us would never get the chance to tell our stories to anybody else . I am thinking of iuniverse, as well as trying to do traditional or e-publishing at the same time. I can't wait to see my book in print.

  15. #140
    dgkgoldberg
    Guest

    error

    it is not impossible for first time novelists to publish --- go to any mega bookstore and see how many books are blurbed as and amazing first novel by . . .

    first novel is almost its own genre.

    it is very possible for unknown and first time novelists to sell to companies that pay an advance and a reasonable rate of royalty

    and, yes i have (before you ask)

    the idea that paying to be published is the only reasonable option is false.

  16. #141
    Minoterrae
    Guest

    Lightning Source - Poor Quality

    I've read in a couple of posts here about the poor quality of Lightning Source. Could you be more specific in your complaints? I've seen different LSI books and I have not noticed anything. What exactly is it they do (or do not do) they makes their books sub-par?

  17. #142
    qwincbruce
    Guest

    1stbooks user

    I went to 1stbooks and had an autobiography published. They had a $300 special going on which including formatting the book into a 6x9 paperback. They have also placed the information on Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites.
    I've read some of the horror stories posted on this forum about 1stbooks, but I have not had any problems with them.
    An outfit called Publish America wanted me to sign a 7 year contract and the publishing would not cost me a dime. But I was uncomfortable with the 7 year contract, so I shelled out the 3 bills with 1stbooks.
    As far as spelling errors, 1stBooks took care of those, except those that were my fault and I paid a modest rewriting fee-$25 I think for about 4 errors.
    The shipping and handling is a bit steep with the object being that the more books you order from 1stbooks, the cheaper the S&H.
    But all in all for my first book, I didn't have any trouble using 1stbooks
    For more info on my book which is called CHIN MUSIC FROM A GREYHOUND or Confessions of a Civil War Reenactor, please visit:
    www.1stbooks.com/bookview/21140
    Robert W. Talbott

  18. #143
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: 1stBooks was OK

    Pammar said:
    Realistic first time author here. Unless your name is "Stephen King" your best bet to break into the business is self-publicatin, although I have no interest in 1stBooks. I'm one of those authors who has stories to tell and just wants some readers. I don't care if I make money It is almost impossible to publish a novel if you are unknown. I think POD publishing is great. I know I can do some marketing and get some readers, and that's thrilling to me.

    If we all waited for traditonal publishers, most of us would never get the chance to tell our stories to anybody else . I am thinking of iuniverse, as well as trying to do traditional or e-publishing at the same time. I can't wait to see my book in print
    If what you want are readers, then you're doing exactly the wrong thing. Every published author out there was once an unpublished first-timer. Scammers put a lot of work into spreading the idea that it's impossible for an unknown to publish a novel, because they want you to think they're your only option. They aren't. If you write a book that people want to read, you can get published by a conventional publishing house. If you don't, self-publication won't help you one little bit.

    Vanity presses do not have a magical hypnotic device that will force readers to buy and read books they don't enjoy. If you want readers, put your work into writing books that readers will want.

    Here's the straight dope: marketing and publicizing and selling books requires a great many man-hours of expert labor. It only pays a publisher to run a real marketing operation if the money to hire the employees, and and to cover all the many associated expenses, will be recouped by the increased sales of the books. At a vanity press, that's just plain not going to happen. Forget what you think about your own book; look at the other books the company publishes. Do they look like obvious candidates for success to you? Honestly? Because if they don't, that publisher is not going to have a marketing operation that can help you.

    Putting out press releases and shoveling titles into Amazon and B&N Online and Ingram is not marketing books. It is, at most, making them available for sale. Huge difference.

    But suppose your dearest dream came true, people turned out to adore your book, and fast-moving word of mouth started selling your book for you. You know what would happen? Not much. I guarantee you wouldn't have a bestseller. Word of mouth does you no good if potential readers can't find your book already there in their local bookstore.

    More to the point, though, there's no way a POD or short-run operation can produce and ship even a fraction of the number of copies you need when a title starts to heat up. They're set up to produce little trickles of copies as needed, not pallets full of copies earmarked for Northern New Jersey. Even the most promising word of mouth will falter and die if there are no copies to be had. People move on. Conversations move on.

    But what if your publisher could produce copies in that quantity? Then I still sincerely doubt that the chains and distributors would want to deal with them. We're talking about large quantities of an overpriced book which can't be sold and/or returned under the normal arrangements and conventions, and isn't backed up by having a marketing support infrastructure already in place at the house.

    Bottom line: There is absolutely no substitute for writing a book that people want to read. And if you can do that, you don't have to deal with any of this other crap. You get paid, and you sit back and let everyone else worry about getting your book in front of the readers' eyes.

  19. #144
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    marketing

    It's true, traditional publishers have sales forces that call up the bookstores, Wal Mart, and other retailers and sell to them. That's the worry of the publishing company, getting you in the bookstores as simply being available online isn't enough. Most books are still sold when people go browsing through the book store or some other retail outlet.

    However, the writer may also wish to go on television shows to promote the book. If you have a good agent or manager that can get the books in the hands of someone like Oprah Winfrey, or the Good Morning America people, the writer would do well to go on those shows. Also being covered by/interviewed by newspapers like the New York Times, or major magazines helps.

    Almost every book recommended by Oprah's book club becomes a best seller.

  20. #145
    James D Macdonald
    Guest

    Re: marketing

    Exactly how many PA, 1stBooks, Xlibris, iUniverse or other vanity PoD books have been chosen by Ms. Winfrey?

    Television is ... well, it is. If you appear on TV waving your book around, and your book isn't also available in stores right that minute, your appearance isn't a going to translate into many sales.

    If you go on Jerry Springer on the "I Dated My Best Friend's Daughter -- and Now She's Pregnant" segment, and you've also written a novel that you mention on the air ... how many Jerry Springer viewers are big novel buyers?

    The number of books that are mentioned on major shows like Good Morning America is ... miniscule. Publishers release more new novels in a day than they mention in a year.

    Basically, if you have that good an agent or manager, what are you doing messing around with a vanity press?

  21. #146
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    my previous post

    James, you misunderstood my previous post. My previous post was all in favor of traditional publishers, as I note that they have their sales departments sell books to book stores, Wal Mart, and other retailers.

    I did say, however, that big writers with traditional publishers do not necessarily leave marketing to the publishing company. Those that have top level agents and managers will have them get them on Oprah, Good Morning America, in Newspapers like the New York Times,, major magazines, etc.

    My last post was basically about how that will not happen with a Vanity Press or POD.

    In other words, I was suggesting to anyone who wants a serious career in writing go with traditional publishing. I'm sorry if my previous post was not clear enough. I hope this clarifies.

    GO WITH TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING! GET A TOP LEVEL AGENT OR MANAGER TO ASSIST YOU IN PROPERLY MARKETING YOURSELF ON MAJOR TELEVISION AND NEWS OUTLETS.

    Yes, James, I know that the number of books which make it on Good Morning America or Oprah is rather small. However, most of the books that get that kind of exposure become best sellers. Publishers love Oprah's book club, because of the sales it brings.

  22. #147
    emeraldcite
    Guest

    Re: marketing

    Oprah's book club,
    after the row with frazier, isn't she only selecting dead novelists now?

  23. #148
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    Oprah's Book Club

    No. She restarted her regular book club, and in the interim, continued to recommend books that she came across and that she thought was good.

    www.oprah.com/obc/obc_landing.jhtml

    She still covers living novelists as well. Many of her shows focus around celebrities, whether they are actors, novelists, cooking show hosts/cook book writers like Nigella, etc.

  24. #149
    HapiSofi
    Guest

    Re: my previous post

    Jus--
    I did say, however, that big writers with traditional publishers do not necessarily leave marketing to the publishing company. Those that have top level agents and managers will have them get them on Oprah, Good Morning America, in Newspapers like the New York Times,, major magazines, etc.
    Not really. Publicity isn't an agent kind of thing. Normally, the publishing house does all that. If the author wants additional exposure, he or she hires a publicist. And if the author and the publicist have any sense at all, they'll be coordinating with the publisher's publicity department at every step of the way.

  25. #150
    JustinoIV
    Guest

    representative

    Do either the agent or the publishing company refer novelists to the publicist?

    For screenwriters, either agents, producers or development executives can refer screenwriters to managers who take care of those types of things for them.

    For the novelists who are interviewed on television, who gets those interviews for them? (Not counting cases where the talk show host just heard about the book and bought it)

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