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WriteRead
06-23-2005, 08:09 PM
Maybe this has been asked, already, if so, then pls bear w me, but is here anyone familiar w them? I'm looking for tips and advices re them, or warnings, for that matter :) .

Thanks,

Dan

aka eraser
06-23-2005, 08:35 PM
They're a very expensive subsidy pub. You can find out a bit more here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767).

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 08:42 PM
Thank you, aka!

Now, why this statement (which has been probably discussed to death, already):


Unfortunately, PODs will remain as the scratch and sniff area of publishing until a reputable company develops the concept into a bricks & mortar establishment., posted by mysteryquiller in thread "Trafford (a POD) in Vancouver, BC, Canada", 1/04.

Dan

brinkett
06-23-2005, 08:58 PM
POD books don't make it into brick & mortar bookstores. Reasons - they aren't returnable, they usually cost more than other books, and often the covers are shitty, and yes, the cover does count. There's more, but I'll stop there.

Now, depending on what type of book you've got, it may not matter that you can't get your book into Barnes & Noble. If you've got a well defined potential audience, you may be able to reach prospective readers in other ways.

So again, do your homework. There's a ton of info out there. Read the two books I suggested in the other thread. They'll probably answer 99.9% of the questions you have, and point you to resources that'll answer the other 0.1%.

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 09:36 PM
Thank you very much, brinkett, for your re's!

Dan

maestrowork
06-23-2005, 09:50 PM
These are the things that keep Vanities out of b&m stories:

1. non-returnable books
2. high prices
3. lack of quality control/reviews
4. lack of discounts (we're not talking about 10 or 20% discount)

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 11:12 PM
I see. Thank you, maestro!

Certainly something to ponder (... on, about ?).

Dan

Carlene
06-26-2005, 03:04 AM
I have one conventionally published book and a POD coming out in July. I have already done one book signing at a HUGE B&N and will do another in July and one in Sept. I brought my own books, and B&N ran them throught their system and took 20 percent. It was easy and fun. How did I do it? I went with a group of authors. When I sold my book that came out in April I quickly learned that no one wanted me to do a signing - makes sense. I'm nobody. However, when I've contact local B&N and said I could pull in five to seven romance authors - they got excited. So, you CAN sell POD books, you just have to be inventive.

RustyVanReeves
08-14-2005, 10:35 PM
Maybe this has been asked, already, if so, then pls bear w me, but is here anyone familiar w them? I'm looking for tips and advices re them, or warnings, for that matter :) .

Thanks,

Dan

Don't do it. I did my first novel with Trafford. I wish I hadn't. It cost me $1,000 - A year later my 2nd novel went to PublishAmerica, another BAD move. Now my 3rd novel is being shopped to agents - patiently. Live and learn. :Lecture:

logos1234567
08-16-2005, 01:51 AM
I have one conventionally published book and a POD coming out in July. I have already done one book signing at a HUGE B&N and will do another in July and one in Sept. I brought my own books, and B&N ran them throught their system and took 20 percent. It was easy and fun. How did I do it? I went with a group of authors. When I sold my book that came out in April I quickly learned that no one wanted me to do a signing - makes sense. I'm nobody. However, when I've contact local B&N and said I could pull in five to seven romance authors - they got excited. So, you CAN sell POD books, you just have to be inventive.

what an excellent idea!

Prosperity7
04-09-2007, 10:46 AM
Does anyone know anyting about Trafford Publishing?:D

http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/trafford.html?993143-10489aaa (http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/trafford.html?993143-10489aaa)

Peggy
04-09-2007, 02:02 PM
There are several old threads in the B&BC board that might have the info you're looking for:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19883
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23535

Prosperity7
04-09-2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks for the info.

James D. Macdonald
04-10-2007, 12:33 AM
Pay-to-play vanity.

Avoid.

LloydBrown
04-10-2007, 12:39 AM
Does anyone know anyting about Trafford Publishing?

Based on previous posts you've made, you're looking really hard at vanity publishers. Do you own a copy of the Writer's Market or subscribe online?

If not, do it today and quit chasing all these scams.

Prosperity7
04-10-2007, 07:26 AM
Based on previous posts you've made, you're looking really hard at vanity publishers. Do you own a copy of the Writer's Market or subscribe online?

If not, do it today and quit chasing all these scams.

Not really looking hard at vanity publishers, just information.

I have learned that opinions vary here.:D

James D. Macdonald
04-11-2007, 02:20 AM
Either publish, or self-publish, as suits your needs and goals.

While opinions do vary, you'll find that both the commercial-publishing boosters and the self-publishing boosters disparage vanity publication. Ask yourself why that might be.

Prosperity7
04-11-2007, 06:45 AM
Either publish, or self-publish, as suits your needs and goals.

While opinions do vary, you'll find that both the commercial-publishing boosters and the self-publishing boosters disparage vanity publication. Ask yourself why that might be.


Is there a way to self publish but get someone else to do the shipping? ...can a POD do this? ...but aren't PODs vanity publishers?

Popeyesays
04-11-2007, 07:32 AM
Go directly through Lightning Source and use their shipping and order fulfillment. It's cheper and Lightning Source keeps good books.

Regards,
Scott

Prosperity7
04-11-2007, 09:50 AM
Go directly through Lightning Source and use their shipping and order fulfillment. It's cheper and Lightning Source keeps good books.

Regards,
Scott

Thanks for the info.

ALLWritety
04-18-2007, 06:44 AM
Hi
I have used Trafford and I would say avoid them. You can read my post in one of the threads at the top posted by Pegy.

Kev

ALLWritety
07-12-2007, 10:58 AM
Hi

Has any one else published with Trafford? I am agressivly marketing my books but i look at the author site but it shows no royalites.

Has any one esle had problem with Trafford like this?

Kev

James D. Macdonald
07-13-2007, 05:46 PM
No royalties? No sales?

That's expected with Trafford (or, really, any vanity press).

Dave.C.Robinson
08-14-2007, 12:22 AM
The one good thing about Trafford is that they call themselves a publishing service, not a publisher, so at least they're honest about it. I once spent a week there, answering phones and got a pretty solid understanding of what they offer.

Writers are their target market. That's who pays their bills. As far as the book trade is concerned they have no marketing staff. Editor is a sales position there. They're a decent employer, but don't mistake them for a publisher.

I can say that when I did answer the phones there, I never received any calls from authors saying they wanted to complain about not getting royalties. My own expectation is that the marketing has not yet generated much in the way of sales. Trafford would prefer that you order the books and then sell them. They will sell to other than the authors, but it's not the usual pattern there.

hastingspress
04-20-2008, 02:55 PM
Trafford Publishing's brochure is a magnificent piece of psychological trickery. They make it sound like they are truly helping you to do yourself and your book some good. The very words they use cleverly manipulate the emotions and work with the subconscious to lure you into believing that you are getting a lot for your money when in fact you get so little that you could easily do it yourself.

Take, for example, the names of the three different publishing packages they offer: "Legacy" (cheapest), "Entrepreneur" (middle) and "Best Seller"(most expensive). They could have just called them Packages 1, 2 and 3, but they have spent a lot of time choosing exactly the right words to work on the subconscious: at the very least, you are leaving a "legacy", one step up and you become an "entrepreneur".

The third one is a breathtaking piece of psychological manipulation. It almost, but not quite, implies that if you pay them top whack (1,349), your book will be a "best seller" - a well-known term within the publishing trade. This also implies that if you don't choose this package, you are selling yourself and your book short.

The "Legacy" package is the one they tout to catch your attention and get you signed up. 499 to publish your book! Doesn't that sound an absolute bargain? But what do you actually get for that?

• They assign you an ISBN (I bought a hundred ISBNs for 75 or 75p each)

• They lay out a cover to the design you supply, but you only get two hours of the layout person's time.

• They create a barcode (one printer I use does this free, another charges 35, or you can buy your own barcode maker for less than 40)

• Print out and post to you a bound proof copy of the book (one printer I use does this free, another charges 15)

• Sends you ten copies of your finished book

• They send one copy of your book to the Library and Archives Canada (why Canada? - see below)


Notice that for your 499 they do NOT do anything else that needs to be done to a book before and after printing, such as proofreading, typesetting, writing a blurb, giving you a webpage, or ANY marketing or publicity whatsoever.

So, an ISBN worth 75p, eleven books that cost them about 11 to print (estimating print costs @1 a book - remember, Trafford is a PRINTING company; they don't have to pay retail for printing your books!) and a barcode which, in the worst-case scenario, you might have had to pay 35 for but costs them pennies. Postage for the proof - about 1

Cost to Trafford: about 13, and less than 8 hours' work, for which you are charged 499. Still sound like a bargain?

What happens next?

• Once your book is ready for publication, Trafford will print you as many copies as you like, but there is a 7.50 "fine" for ordering fewer than 50 books.

• Trafford charge you per book - plus you have to pay for them to be shipped over from Canada!

If, like many people, you don't have the skills to typeset your book, you will inevitably opt for the next-up package, the "Legacy Plus", which costs a further 350. For this, Trafford will also scan your artwork, typeset the book and the cover, do up to two hours of corrections and send you a second proof.

The 499 you intended to spend has become 849. And still the world will not know anything about your book or where to buy it.

Entrepreneur

So, you need to go up one more step. You're busy, or you don't have the skills to make a website (besides which, that costs thousands doesn't it?) so you let Trafford gives you a standard-format page on their website, from which people can order your book. They also give you another 20 books (which I imagine costs them about 20). For this, Trafford charges an additional 250.

Your book's page is buried deep within their site, and your book is not mentioned at all on the front page of their site, but to make up for it, they run 150 bookmarks and 50 postcards off their printing press for you to give out to your family and friends. Trafford call these "sales tools that really work".



Best seller

This is the top-of-the-range, super-deluxe service offered by Trafford. For an additional 250 above the Entrepreneur price you get these extras:

• 300 bookmarks, 100 postcards, 10 posters.

• An email sent to their media contacts.

• A booklet with some marketing ideas.

• They fill in a few forms to inform the book trade of your book's existence.

• They submit your webpage to search engines Yahoo and Google. There is no need to do this: search engines catalogue everything themselves by sending out 'spiders' to collect new info.

What they don't tell you is that nobody ever goes onto Trafford's website in order to browse books with a view to purchasing them.

Note that, even though you have now parted with 1,349 they still don't proofread or edit your book, or place it in bookshops, organise launches or anything else.

THE TRIPLE WHAMMY

• Firstly, they charge you for printing the book, so they make the usual commercial printer's profit on that (plus they overcharge - see below).

• Secondly, they take 25% of the income from selling a book via your webpage on their site.

• Thirdly, they take 40% of what is left.

If your 160-page book retails at 9.99. Traffords charges you 3.94 to print it, 2.50 commission for selling it and snatches 40% of what is left (1.42) for no reason. They give you the 60% (which they boast of as a really generous "royalty".) This amounts to 2.13. Yep - you get 2.13 per book sold via their website and they get 7.87. From this, they have printing costs of about 1 per book, so their profit is 6.87 per book sold at 9.99.

If your book sells via a bookshop the outlook is even bleaker: a bookshop will take 4 commission, leaving you with 1.23 and Trafford with 82p +3.94 - 1 =3.76. It is not, therefore, in Trafford's interest for you to sell via bookshops, as Trafford makes 3.11 less per book than if was sold on their website.

Not that there is much likelihood of bookshop orders. Trafford leave you to do all the publicity and promotion. If you don't, they don't care; they have your money in their pockets up front. If you do, they sit back and take 7.87 from each book you sell at 9.99. Thus, you are working for Trafford, when the original deal was, they were supposed to be working for you!

Trafford also overcharges on the printing: print on demand book printer ARL charges 71 setup fee for a 160-page book (including a proof copy)thence 2.40 per copy. Trafford charges 3.82 for the same book. ARL does not fine you for having fewer than 50 books printed. ARL posts the books from UK not Canada and their courier charges 15 for a carton of up to about 35 books. ARL charges you 12.50 if you want to alter something after seeing the proof and doesn't make you have another proof printed afterwards. Trafford charges 32 to make an alteration and force yous to have another proof printed at a cost of 12.

Every book has to be proofread and most could benefit from editing, but Trafford won't do this for you (it's too much like hard work). Instead they display a list of freelancers who you can pay. These freelancers have to pay 50 to Trafford for every job they do for one of "their" authors. This, of course, is added to their charges and Trafford makes another 50 out of you, this time for doing absolutely nothing at all.

Trafford's growth in 2005 was an astounding 3,500%, making it the fifth most profitable company in Canada. (www.profitguide.com) In 1999 the company made a profit of 262,000 Canadian dollars; in 2004 this was 9.5 million. Great news if you are a shareholder, but remember, if you are an author employing them to publish your book, that profit comes from YOU.

Misleading text

Trafford says in their brochure that "in the past" a self-publishing author would need to deal with "Sales promotions, announcements, advertising, seeking publicity – it could all be overwhelming." This implies that Trafford are taking all this off your hands (otherwise, why mention it?) but doesn't actually say that they will. In fact, they do none of those things.

Illiterate and repulsive stablemates

I've looked at some Trafford books and seen some astoundingly illiterate excerpts on their website. Laughably typeset and chock-full of errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar and layout.

On an even more unpleasant note, Trafford claim that they exclude books which are "inciting violence, hate literature or pornography", and yet one book on their website is pure pornography from start to finish, and, worse, it graphically portrays a woman being sexually abused, damaged and bleeding from vicious penetration by a man who "chuckles" (author's word) at her pain: "He ripped her open, laughing at her screams." Another, by the same author, insults rape victims by claiming that they are gold-diggers who prey on poor, vulnerable men by having sex with them and "crying rape" for financial gain. I call that "hate literature". When I complained Trafford immediately removed the excerpt from their website.

Publication in Canada

Even though you deal with their Oxford office: "We are proud to announce that our UK office has relocated to one of the world's great literary hotspots ... It is our hope that Oxford's history of literary inspiration will provide the perfect backdrop for authors" - your book is registered and printed only in Canada and it is from there that you have to pay for shipping of all your books.

If there are any factual errors here I would be happy to update the piece, but you get the gist ....

Helena

MickRooney
04-22-2008, 05:01 AM
A posting that took some effort and scores a direct hit. Thank you Hastingspress.

Trafford do what they do and advertise widely. They are good at what they do, they sussed out the in-house print deal long ago. Cut out the middle men as much as possible, charge as much as you can for as little as you offer, greater margin-greater profit. They sell the dream, not the book.

This is the rose-tinted-razor end of POD publishing. Scarey, and yet, exhillerating...somehow!

hastingspress
04-23-2008, 05:52 PM
Cheers Mickey.

"They sell the dream, not the book."

Never a truer word spoken!

Their brochure is so captivating that they almost had me thinking "Why am I doing it myself when for just a few pounds they will take all the hard work off my hands ...." - and that was when I was researching just to criticise them!

Beguiling and dangerous, that's Trafford!

Helena

MickRooney
04-23-2008, 06:57 PM
Their brochure is so captivating

I got hold of their brochure when I was researching POD publishers. It plays very heavily on testimonials and glowing, smiling faces. Their service costs also come in at the high end, like their brochure! I would imagine that 90% of those who pay the fee are very green when it comes to the book publishing world.

Mick.

hastingspress
04-23-2008, 07:32 PM
Did you agree with my analysis that they suck you in on the 495 deal, then somewhere down the line you realise you need more services ... and more, and hey presto you have parted with 1,400?

MickRooney
04-23-2008, 08:55 PM
Absolutely. Very much the business ploy, the hook and bait at the lower price, then 'kapow' but, 'you know you're going to need all these as well'.

hastingspress
04-24-2008, 10:32 AM
I cannot see how any novice author can get by on the 495 deal, because that requires them to have done all the typesetting etc themselves. If you are capable of doing that, you might as well buy some ISBNs and do the thing yourself. Helena

MickRooney
04-25-2008, 05:03 AM
I cannot see how any novice author can get by on the 495 deal, because that requires them to have done all the typesetting etc themselves. If you are capable of doing that, you might as well buy some ISBNs and do the thing yourself. Helena

I think this is the real difference with POD publishers as opposed to self-pub. That is the point. Look at UK POD's like Arima, they expect a fully finished PDF file polished and ready for publication. It's a case of 'what you see is what you get'. You do all the editing, the layout and deliver the polished file to go direct to print. Most of the basic packages for uk pod's, at the 400str mark, do little else but maybe provide a basic cover template and 'your pdf' file to their printer for publication. Thats when the marketing/distribution add-ons kick in, which takes the cost from 400str to 1000+str.

The reality is that even a copy edit on your ms is going to cost as much from a decent qualified editor free-lancing.

That perhaps is what Traditional Publishers will always hold over the heads of the self-pub or POD publishing market.

"We might publish some sh1t, but at least its well copy-written sh1t, and we'll market it really well, and if you don't buy it 'cos it's going to sell like hot cakes everywhere, then, then...well, you'll die or something!"

Think I'll stick with the rough and tumble of POD or self-pub, and unearth a gem.

Mick

ALLWritety
04-29-2008, 09:53 AM
Hi Guys,

I have some proof that Trafford IS NOT Honest about their dealings with the royalties. The email below was sent to me today. I too am sure there are many more. If you are one of them or you suspect something please email me.

Thanks
Kev

The Email:

Hi Kevin,

Excuse the interruption, however, I was given your e-mail address from a gentleman in Seattle, Washington
who I have been in contact with regarding issues with Trafford Publishing. I found a "blog" that you had written
which expressed a sentiment that I think many are feeling but to unaware to address. Your blog related to the
lack of royalty reporting by Trafford and I am deep in the middle of trying to get them to address the same issue
with me. I have published two books with Trafford in the past 1 1/2 years and have yet to receive any royalties
or even reported sales from online booksellers like amazon and barnes and noble. As a marketing person by
profession, I purchased copies of my own books from these sites so that I could track sales, as well as
document orders not only for myself, but for my customers as well. Trafford has consistently given me the
"run around" about these orders and claims that they have not received the necessary information from the
book distributors in order for these sales to record. First they told me it takes 3 months, then 5 months and
now they will not respond to either my e-mails or my telephone voicemails. It was when I offered to give
them order numbers and documented proof of the sales that they stopped communicating altogether.

I do not feel that they are specifically targeting me...I believe this practice of not reporting online sales has been
going on for quite some time and either authors are not aware and just believe that their books are not selling
or are willing to play the game and just keep waiting for their royalties to magically appear. Anyway, that is
what is happening to me and I would be very interested in hearing your story as well. While it may feel like
we are alone in dealing with this obvious deception, I am confident that there are many others like us that need
to sound their voices loud and clear and hold Trafford accountable for their actions.

ALLWritety
04-29-2008, 09:56 AM
Did you agree with my analysis that they suck you in on the 495 deal, then somewhere down the line you realise you need more services ... and more, and hey presto you have parted with 1,400?

Hi Hastings,

If only i had known that BEFORE I signed with Trafford. I did some research but I guess it wasn't enough!

I want to Reiterate that PEOPLE SHOULD AVOID TRAFFORDS COMPLETELY.

KEV

Jill
07-16-2008, 11:37 AM
Does anyone have any experience of this company, please?

Stormhawk
07-16-2008, 02:47 PM
The search function is your friend.

Jill
07-16-2008, 03:12 PM
Sorry, I don't see the connection here. Perhaps you can explain?

brianm
07-16-2008, 04:54 PM
Hi, Jill.

I'm guessing Stormhawk was referring to the search function at the top of the page in B&BC.

There's an existing thread here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767&highlight=trafford+publishing) about Trafford.

Jill
07-16-2008, 06:32 PM
Thanks Briann!
BTW I don't want the information for myself - a friend asked me if I knew of this company. I said, no, but I know where to find out!

robertmblevins
07-18-2008, 10:46 AM
Stop.

Stop NOW!

Pay a service like Trafford to 'publish' your book?

Seven hundred dollars? Ridiculous. The only one who makes any money is Trafford. If you want to self-publish your book, let's try a better example.

How about Lightning Source? Set up a bank account in the name of a publisher (you), even if it's 'Joe Citizen Books'. Then buy 10 isbns with your own prefix for $250. Drop another $120 or so on the upload fee for your book, assign that sucker one of the ISBN's, and then upload your cover and text files to them. They charge you 12 dollars a year to keep that book in the database.

Then...you can obtain say, a six-by-nine novel at around 170 pages for something like 3.25 a copy for single copies. Set a wholesale price for the book at LSI. Make it 50-55% (and no more) of what is referred to as 'normal retail' for that size/type book. Make sure you also upload your book info and thumbnails to google, barnes, amazon, booksurge, etc.

Book jobbers at Amazon and elsewhere will add your book to their lists because they can get it wholesale. LSI's 'New Release' newsletter reaches more than 10,000 outlets a month.

Since you can now obtain your book at less than wholesale from LSI, you can also market that book legitimately to bookstores.

I kind of speeded through this post, so I may have missed on a couple of things, but this process is much better than just forking over money to folks who are going to charge YOU more than wholesale just to get a copy of your own book. And bookstore sales? Forget it. Bookstores won't touch anything they can't get wholesale. Or very little.

I speak from experience here. Adventure Books of Seattle went through Lulu.com for three and a half years. Our books were all less than ten dollars, which made them cheaper than 90% of the other books at Lulu. Ours are pro-edited and formatted. Still...we sold not that many copies.

We are dumping Lulu and moving over to LSI. One book is there. The rest will follow soon, as well as our magazine. Our upcoming release isn't even being uploaded to Lulu this time. The only thing they are good for is ordering proof copies, IMHO. That's because they charge zero dollars to make changes, and LSI charges a bundle. Your files to LSI must be LETTER PERFECT. So...use Lulu to check proofs. You do this by selecting the 'Available Only To Me' option when publishing at Lulu, and then you order a copy to check for errors or image problems. If there are errors, fix them and reload and order another copy. When you get it right, contact your LSI rep (they assign someone to you) and get ready to upload your cover and text.

If you have a problem with Trafford, the best route to go, believe it or not...is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It's one of the few organizations dishonest publishers fear. The form is on their website.

Jill
07-20-2008, 11:43 AM
Stop.Pay a service like Trafford to 'publish' your book?

Thanks Robertm but I've no intention of paying anyone to publish my books - I expect them to pay me.

I'll pass on your comments to my friend who may just want to go down that route.