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View Full Version : Diggory vs. LULU vs. BookSurge



Prosperity7
03-03-2007, 02:14 AM
Which do you folks think is better, Digory, LULU or Booksurge? http://www3.christianforums.com/images/smilies/confused.gif

On Amazon I got 10,372 results for Booksurge; Diggoty Press 75 results and LULU I got 6,237 results.

All of them show some 5 star ratings on Amazon.

I may be wrong, but I don't think any have a single best seller.

James D. Macdonald
03-03-2007, 03:51 AM
What are your goals?

Prosperity7
03-03-2007, 09:19 AM
What are your goals?

To publish my non-fiction Christian Book. This is not an exercise in vanity for me.http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h128/petesarah/Smilies/th_waving2.gif

Unimportant
03-03-2007, 11:02 AM
Do *you* want to publish your book, or do you want a *commercial publisher* to publish your book? One's self publishing, the other's not.

Prosperity7
03-03-2007, 11:37 AM
Do *you* want to publish your book, or do you want a *commercial publisher* to publish your book? One's self publishing, the other's not.

I want which ever will get the widest distribution. As you can tell, I'm a complete novest to all this.

I'm think on send it to Bridge logos first and then ?

If I have to self publish to get the ball rolling, then I want to go the best way posoble.

James D. Macdonald
03-03-2007, 06:29 PM
Self-publishing to "get the ball rolling" generally isn't a good plan.

Can you be more specific about your goals? Is it to hold a copy with your name on the cover in your hand? To give/sell a copy to about a hundred friends/family members? To sell from a table you rent a church fairs? To have it stocked in bookstores that you haven't personally visited? To sell as many copies as possible? To make as much money as possible? To have a full-time job as a book salesman?

Is your book fiction or non-fiction?

Prosperity7
03-03-2007, 11:55 PM
Self-publishing to "get the ball rolling" generally isn't a good plan.

Can you be more specific about your goals? Is it to hold a copy with your name on the cover in your hand? To give/sell a copy to about a hundred friends/family members? To sell from a table you rent a church fairs? To have it stocked in bookstores that you haven't personally visited? To sell as many copies as possible? To make as much money as possible? To have a full-time job as a book salesman?

Is your book fiction or non-fiction?

To help as many people as possible by selling as many copies as possible? The method of sales doesn't really matter to me as long as it is legal and ethical. Actually, I want my identity, as well as the identity of the characters, to be as unknown as is possible to protect the innocent and the guilty.

My book fiction or non-fiction?

veinglory
03-04-2007, 03:12 AM
If you want to sell the most copies publication by a major press (not a printer) is definitely the way to go--a press that is routinely shelved in chain stores will sell a lot more than a self-POD in 99.9% of cases..

James D. Macdonald
03-04-2007, 07:25 AM
Like Veinglory said, if you want to sell the greatest number possible, you need to go with a major press.

Go to your local Christian bookstore. Find books similar to yours. Write down the names of their publishers. Do the same in your local Barnes&Noble or Borders. Get copies of those publishers' guidelines. Follow them to the letter.

Good luck.

Prosperity7
03-04-2007, 10:23 AM
Like Veinglory said, if you want to sell the greatest number possible, you need to go with a major press.

Go to your local Christian bookstore. Find books similar to yours. Write down the names of their publishers. Do the same in your local Barnes&Noble or Borders. Get copies of those publishers' guidelines. Follow them to the letter.

Good luck.

Thank you for your information. I will check it out.

I noticed that no one seems to have much to say about Booksurge in spite of the 10,000+ listings that have on Amazon.com

James D. Macdonald
03-04-2007, 11:25 AM
So they have a lot of listings on Amazon. What of it? PublishAmerica has twice as many, and AuthorHouse has more still. What's Booksurge's best-selling title? What does their average book sell? What does their typical book sell?

And please, put five-star ratings on Amazon out of your mind. They're meaningless.

Seriously, if I were going to self-publish, I'd self-publish. When you go with a vanity outfit you're still going to have to do all the promotion and marketing yourself, but you're only going to get a fraction of the return.

Mac H.
03-04-2007, 01:11 PM
Actually, I want my identity, as well as the identity of the characters, to be as unknown as is possible to protect the innocent and the guilty.In that case, no version of self-publishing (including the ones you mentioned) are likely to be any good.

With any kind of self publishing, YOU are the marketer. YOU are the sales person.

That kinda kills the whole anonymity thing ..

Mac

Prosperity7
03-04-2007, 01:17 PM
So they have a lot of listings on Amazon. What of it? PublishAmerica has twice as many, and AuthorHouse has more still. What's Booksurge's best-selling title? What does their average book sell? What does their typical book sell?

And please, put five-star ratings on Amazon out of your mind. They're meaningless.

Seriously, if I were going to self-publish, I'd self-publish. When you go with a vanity outfit you're still going to have to do all the promotion and marketing yourself, but you're only going to get a fraction of the return.

I don't know how to find out what is Booksurge's best-selling title, how much their average book sell for or what their typical book sells for. Do you know the answers or can you tell me how to obtain this information?http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

I read on self publishing and vanity publishing, but I guess I still don't see a distinct difference. Would you please simplify these terms for me?http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

Prosperity7
03-04-2007, 01:18 PM
In that case, no version of self-publishing (including the ones you mentioned) are likely to be any good.

With any kind of self publishing, YOU are the marketer. YOU are the sales person.

That kinda kills the whole anonymity thing ..

Mac

You are correct.

James D. Macdonald
03-04-2007, 06:04 PM
First, for Booksurge, just go to Amazon, and sort their titles in best-selling order. You'll find their best-seller is a diet book.

While you're reserarching Booksurge, and before you get too excited by all the glowing reviews by "New York Times Best Selling Author Ellen Tanner Marsh," read this article (http://www.slate.com/id/2157866/entry/0/).

Okay, the difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing:

Short version: in self-publishing you own the ISBN. In vanity publishing the publisher does.

In self-publishng you write the book, you design the book, you buy the ISBN, you hire the printer, you do the marketing, promotion, and distribution. You keep all the income. You keep the publication rights.

In vanity publishing you write the book, you give the publication rights to someone and pay that person do the book design, put on an ISBN, and do the printing. You still do the marketing, promotion, and distribution, you get a fraction of the income.

ResearchGuy
03-04-2007, 10:16 PM
. . . Short version: in self-publishing you own the ISBN. In vanity publishing the publisher does.

In self-publishng you write the book, you design the book, you buy the ISBN, you hire the printer, you do the marketing, promotion, and distribution. You keep all the income. You keep the publication rights.
Good summary. To put it another way, the self-publisher is a business person whose business is publishing and whose products are the books he or she has written. (Some expand to take on books by others, in which case they morph into independent publishers without the "self" label.) I would add that self-publishers can, of course (and the meticulous ones do) hire book designers, editors, and proof readers, and may contract out distribution. They ordinarily (judging from my first-hand observations) play the key role themselves in marketing and promotion. Those with good products and business acumen can do very well at the publishing business, either as sole business or as a sideline to some other business (business consulting, for example). Those who lack some key element can lose their shirts.

Folks who just want to write are not candidates for self-publishing.

My opinions, but they reflect years of association with writer-publishers plus reading about the field.

--Ken

James D. Macdonald
03-05-2007, 01:24 AM
And folks who are wonderful at business but who haven't written a readable book aren't candidates for self-publication either. You need to have both skills.

Toothpaste
03-05-2007, 02:45 AM
I think the thing you aren't quite understanding yet Prosperity, is that the reason Booksurge etc has so many titles available is because anyone who wants to can publish a book with them. They are a self-publishing outfit and so as long as you have the money you can publish a book.

With the big name publishers, the ones that publish books like Harry Potter etc, they get thousands of submissions, but only accept a few books. Therefore they may have fewer books listed on Amazon. However those few books are found in bookstores etc, and have more chance to make money than the thousands of self-published books which don't have the opportunity of the same kind of exposure.

Fewer books published with a big house tends to be a sign of editors having taste and choosing books and putting their money to promote those few books. As opposed to a self-publishing outfit which makes money from the authors buying books or buying their services. There is nothing wrong with legit self-publishing, but as others here have already said, if you want your book in as many hands as possibly, then you should really try publishing houses first.

ResearchGuy
03-05-2007, 06:58 AM
And folks who are wonderful at business but who haven't written a readable book aren't candidates for self-publication either. You need to have both skills.
Well, it has to be salable, not necessarily readable. It could be a collection of quotations, a directory or index of some sort, or even a repackaged public domain text, as long as you can successfully produce and market it.

We are talking products here. Books, bolts, enchilladas, gaskets, paintings, lawn chairs, crafts--whatever. Stuff made for sale. Folks get confused about words collected on paper (at least those who attribute some sort of ethereal value to words collected on paper, what Naida West has referred to as "the authorial mystique"). They are just another product. Some just have a longer shelf life than others. But even the vast majority of commercially published books are only in print for a few months, and then gone and forgotten. They are just products, and most of them (including the commercially published) ephemeral, this year's tens of thousands quickly replaced on the shelves and in the catalogues by next year's tens of thousands, in turn replaced by the following year's tens of thousands.

--Ken

Prosperity7
03-05-2007, 07:17 AM
First, for Booksurge, just go to Amazon, and sort their titles in best-selling order. You'll find their best-seller is a diet book.

While you're reserarching Booksurge, and before you get too excited by all the glowing reviews by "New York Times Best Selling Author Ellen Tanner Marsh," read this article (http://www.slate.com/id/2157866/entry/0/).

Okay, the difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing:

Short version: in self-publishing you own the ISBN. In vanity publishing the publisher does.

In self-publishng you write the book, you design the book, you buy the ISBN, you hire the printer, you do the marketing, promotion, and distribution. You keep all the income. You keep the publication rights.

In vanity publishing you write the book, you give the publication rights to someone and pay that person do the book design, put on an ISBN, and do the printing. You still do the marketing, promotion, and distribution, you get a fraction of the income.


Thank you for the great info.

Prosperity7
03-05-2007, 07:23 AM
Well, it has to be salable, not necessarily readable. It could be a collection of quotations, a directory or index of some sort, or even a repackaged public domain text, as long as you can successfully produce and market it.

We are talking products here. Books, bolts, enchilladas, gaskets, paintings, lawn chairs, crafts--whatever. Stuff made for sale. Folks get confused about words collected on paper (at least those who attribute some sort of ethereal value to words collected on paper, what Naida West has referred to as "the authorial mystique"). They are just another product. Some just have a longer shelf life than others. But even the vast majority of commercially published books are only in print for a few months, and then gone and forgotten. They are just products, and most of them (including the commercially published) ephemeral, this year's tens of thousands quickly replaced on the shelves and in the catalogues by next year's tens of thousands, in turn replaced by the following year's tens of thousands.

--Ken

Thanks for all of your insights.

Ralyks
03-26-2007, 03:16 AM
Seriously, if I were going to self-publish, I'd self-publish. When you go with a vanity outfit you're still going to have to do all the promotion and marketing yourself, but you're only going to get a fraction of the return.

These are the disadvantages of using a vanity POD vs. self-publishing. However, there are some advantages to using a vanity POD vs. self-publishing: (1) Time--i.e. you do not have to spend time designing your cover, obtaining an ISBN, getting listed at online bookstores, and fulfilling and shipping the orders yourself, and (2) Risk--i.e. you do not have to risk nearly as much upfront capital. So the best route for you depends on your goals, your personality, and your confidence in your ability to sell your book.

I made a small profit with a vanity POD. If I had self-published instead, I would certainly have made a greater profit, probably two times as much or more. For me, however, the time investment and the stress involved in figuring out the logistics of self-publishing would not have been worth the additional profit.

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:03 AM
These are the disadvantages of using a vanity POD vs. self-publishing. However, there are some advantages to using a vanity POD vs. self-publishing: (1) Time--i.e. you do not have to spend time designing your cover, obtaining an ISBN, getting listed at online bookstores, and fulfilling and shipping the orders yourself, and (2) Risk--i.e. you do not have to risk nearly as much upfront capital. So the best route for you depends on your goals, your personality, and your confidence in your ability to sell your book.

I made a small profit with a vanity POD. If I had self-published instead, I would certainly have made a greater profit, probably two times as much or more. For me, however, the time investment and the stress involved in figuring out the logistics of self-publishing would not have been worth the additional profit.

Please help me to understand. Do any self publishing printers design covers or do drop shipping or is this only done by PODs. It seems you make a distinction between POD and Self Publishing in that PODs are vanity oriented while PODs aren't vanity oriented. Is this right or am I misunderstanding?

Ralyks
03-26-2007, 10:55 PM
Please help me to understand. Do any self publishing printers design covers or do drop shipping or is this only done by PODs. It seems you make a distinction between POD and Self Publishing in that PODs are vanity oriented while PODs aren't vanity oriented. Is this right or am I misunderstanding?

If you self-publish, you can hire someone to design your cover. You can then pay a printer to print it. You can then hire someone else to do your distribution and order fulfillment. Or you can do one or more of these things yourself. If you "hire" a vanity POD, they generally do all of the design, ISBN assignment, distribution, and order fulfillment themselves in one single package for one set price.

I was speaking specifically of using a VANITY POD (i.e. a POD printer you pay to publish your work) vs. self-publishing. Not all POD's are vanities. If you self-publish, it is more work and time for you than if you pay a single vanity POD printer for these services. It also costs considerably more to self-publish than to purchase a package of services from a vanity POD. However, you get 100% of the profits from your book if you self-publish. A vanity POD takes part of the profits in addition to your initial service fees.

CaoPaux
03-26-2007, 11:03 PM
Writer Beware has a great explanation of how printing method differs from business model:

http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html

http://www.sfwa.org/beware/vanitypublishers.html

Prosperity7
03-26-2007, 11:19 PM
If you self-publish, you can hire someone to design your cover. You can then pay a printer to print it. You can then hire someone else to do your distribution and order fulfillment. Or you can do one or more of these things yourself. If you "hire" a vanity POD, they generally do all of the design, ISBN assignment, distribution, and order fulfillment themselves in one single package for one set price.

I was speaking specifically of using a VANITY POD (i.e. a POD printer you pay to publish your work) vs. self-publishing. Not all POD's are vanities. If you self-publish, it is more work and time for you than if you pay a single vanity POD printer for these services. It also costs considerably more to self-publish than to purchase a package of services from a vanity POD. However, you get 100% of the profits from your book if you self-publish. A vanity POD takes part of the profits in addition to your initial service fees.

At what point in the process did you copyright your book and who did the copyright, you or your POD?

ResearchGuy
03-27-2007, 12:01 AM
At what point in the process did you copyright your book and who did the copyright, you or your POD?
Do you mean register the copyright?

--Ken

Ralyks
03-27-2007, 12:07 AM
I registered my own copyright after it was published. Usually vanity POD's have you register it yourself; sometimes they do it for you. If you self-publish, you will, of course, have to register it yourself.

lftwondering
04-15-2007, 08:44 PM
A great thread here! Thanks... very useful information! Actually some of this might be better than a small publisher who can't do much more. Here you have control and more royalties.

rocketman
04-20-2007, 09:53 PM
So has anyone worked with Diggory?

jst5150
04-20-2007, 10:04 PM
I self-published my poetry book with low-expectations. I also wanted to see how my poetry writing, layout, and design skills did. Finally, I did a minute amount of marketing. I sold almost exactly the number of books I thought I would sell based on that. So, check, check and check.

Jim is right on two accounts. First, what is your goal -- fame or fortune? Based on your note, it is something of an exercise in vanity (fame) but in someone else's name, which is fine. In effect, there's a message to be offered with publication of your book. You want the message to reach the greatest audience. Large publishers give you the best chance at reaching that large audience.

Second, go to the Christian book store and track down those publishers. That's where your message will gain the most traction and have an opportunity to sell.

v/r, jt

Therefore, self-publishing won't accomplish your goal. :-)

Prosperity7
04-21-2007, 09:59 AM
Do you mean register the copyright?

--Ken

Correct. So what is the answer?

Talia
04-30-2007, 04:06 AM
While you're reserarching Booksurge, and before you get too excited by all the glowing reviews by "New York Times Best Selling Author Ellen Tanner Marsh," read this article (http://www.slate.com/id/2157866/entry/0/).

That was an interesting article James - scary!

I don't recommend booksurge. I looked into them as a way to get my books on Amazon as I live in New Zealand and the postage cost and the 60% discount that Amazon demand made it impossible for my publisher to get the books to US at a reasonable price. Lulu let you choose what you want. Booksurge try to pressure you into purchasing packages for marketing yada yada which are expensive and ineffective

As others have said the best bet is to find a commercial publisher
Having said that the anonymity is going to be a barrier to success

LloydBrown
04-30-2007, 04:23 AM
Having said that the anonymity is going to be a barrier to success

Huh? This sounds like you're parroting the usual vanity publishing advertisement. About 15% of the titles on bookstore shelves at any given time are first-time authors. The only barrier to success is not writing a book that's good enough to sell.

Carmy
05-03-2007, 07:38 AM
So -- any information on Diggory?

ResearchGuy
05-03-2007, 08:06 AM
. . . The only barrier to success is not writing a book that's good enough to sell.
What is your definition of success? Commercial publication of one book? Any threshold for size of printing or sell-through?

Just wondering.

--Ken

Jackie Coupe
05-15-2007, 01:06 PM
I have books with Diggory and Lulu.
Diggory got very friendly the more I spent, I have made a mere 5% of my initial investment back. Money I could sorely have done not to lose. I've done promotion, adveritising, you name it. I'm no slacker.:rant:
My new novel wasn't going to go anywhere near them!
I went to Lulu because it offered no set-up fees. It was also recommended by a P&E winner for ease of service.
With Lulu I feel less taken advantage of and more in control. The only big downer if the fact that the cheeky blighters charge extortionate post to me over here in GB, then print and ship from Spain which is just over the water! You can have an ebook with then though to cut out that cost.


Hope that helps!

batgirl
05-15-2007, 10:34 PM
Huh? This sounds like you're parroting the usual vanity publishing advertisement. About 15% of the titles on bookstore shelves at any given time are first-time authors. The only barrier to success is not writing a book that's good enough to sell.
I believe Talia is referring not to the anonymity of a new writer, but to the anonymity Prosperity wishes to have for him/herself to 'protect the innocent and guilty'. The suggestion is, I think, that given the self-publisher's need to be the front-man and PR flack for the book, it's hard for him to also be anonymous.
-Barbara

Carmy
05-17-2007, 07:31 AM
Thanks for the info, Jackie.

I'm curious. Lulu has a UK branch: http://www.lulu.com/uk Perhaps you signed with them when all they had was a US branch.

Jackie Coupe
05-21-2007, 04:41 PM
Don't know, they probably do but I think they're wrinkle for extra fees is that the whole web based sales etc only come from Lulu.com ie:USA
I clicked the link you left and logged in and it looks like it always does.
It defaults to the address you left if I just type in Lulu.com.

Erm.

Carmy
05-21-2007, 08:12 PM
Wow! Pretty darned smart of them, Jackie.

Jackie Coupe
05-23-2007, 04:44 PM
Cunning as a cat a-running yes. Just uber-annoying for me in the UK.
That said, you can't fault the no-fee start up. You just have to be on top of the finished product. I would always recommend ordering one to check before going live. (This comes after my horse bolted:tongue )

Carmy
05-27-2007, 08:39 AM
Good advice, Jackie. I know of one person who published a collection of stories by different authors without getting a copy to check first. Turns out he approved the earlier, unedited version. Lots of unhappy writers that time.

Jackie Coupe
05-28-2007, 09:33 PM
Always good advice. I think we tend to rush to get something out, I know I did, I felt rather ill after reading it though.
Make sure. Check and double check, Lulu isn't very cost effective for readers so you have to make sure they feel parting with their hard-earned was worth it!

Stijn Hommes
05-29-2007, 01:57 AM
If you decide to self-publish (or use a vanity publisher), do your homework. See what they want you to pay and what you get for it in return. If quality of the product is equal, you want to go with the one charging $100 rather than the one charging $900, right?

Still, Christian books have plenty of real life publishers who might be willing to pay you (rather than the other way around). Try those first.

victoriastrauss
02-05-2008, 08:09 PM
For more info on Diggory Press, see this thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72074) in the Bewares & Background check forum.

- Victoria

TomBenjey
10-25-2008, 10:35 PM
Having first had problems with shoddy work done by BookSurge, I now find myself in Federal Court with BookSurge/Amazon over their infringement of my copyright.