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facsmth
04-29-2007, 04:48 AM
Hi, I'm a newbie. I've been reading the material against PublishAmerica and despite this, I've decided to sign on with them. I understand that I'll be safe as long as I don't buy too many books from them. If my friends or family want a copy, they can give me the money to take advantage of the 20% discount or else just pay PA uprfront without the discount.

I've just recently distributed booklets of my fiction to friends of mine (giving them away free of charge even though I paid from $20 - $10 each copy). I am not a rep of this disreputable publisher. Just a youngster in bad health who might not find a legitimate publisher within my life time.

Here's a sample of some of my stuff. (http://www.geocities.com/hurinsteadfast/MORfictionthree4282007.htm)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
04-29-2007, 04:54 AM
Try Lulu! It's MUCH cheaper.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
04-29-2007, 04:55 AM
Oh... and welcome to AW.

Now... go check out Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/author/create.php)!

The Lady
04-29-2007, 05:35 AM
Good luck with your writing career, whatever you choose. I tried out the sample of your work but the font was pretty close to unreadable.

CaoPaux
04-29-2007, 06:12 AM
Taking this at face value...with Lulu you could have your books in hand much faster than with PA.

facsmth
04-29-2007, 06:30 AM
You mean like this? (http://www.lulu.com/browse/book_view.php?fCID=825207)

Maddog
04-29-2007, 06:46 AM
That's pricey for sure, but PA books are always softcovers. They cost from $17-$30.

There's a poster named bstevens who started an I love PA thread. No matter how anyone tried to tell her PA was no good, she stubbornly supported them. Until she got her $8 royalty check. It was sad.

facsmth
04-29-2007, 07:36 AM
Oh the heck with Publish America. I should of suspected something since the acceptance letter came within the week of the submission. :D

Is this okay? Res Kid. (http://www.lulu.com/content/825338)

I guess Lulu charges the author to print books?

Anyway, I lowered the revenue for MORfiction...

James D. Macdonald
04-29-2007, 08:17 AM
There are cheaper printers, where you won't have to give up your rights for seven years.

James D. Macdonald
04-29-2007, 08:27 AM
I guess Lulu charges the author to print books?

Yep. In the case of your 340 page book, $11.33, plus postage.

That's significantly less than PA will charge you for the same length book, with their best author's discount.

Purely for selling your book, I'd suggest setting the cover price to $14.95.

facsmth
04-29-2007, 08:31 AM
Yep. In the case of your 340 page book, $11.33, plus postage.

If I order the book or if someone else orders it?



Purely for selling your book, I'd suggest setting the cover price to $14.95.

I see an option for changing revenue, but not "cover price."

James D. Macdonald
04-29-2007, 08:53 AM
That's if you order the book. If someone else orders it they'll pay whatever price you set.

You'll have to sell your Lulu book exactly the same way you'd have to sell a PA book. Your gross is whatever you sell it for minus what you paid for it.

You change the cover price by changing the revenue. Lower revenue = lower cover price.

facsmth
04-29-2007, 03:52 PM
That's if you order the book. If someone else orders it they'll pay whatever price you set.

You'll have to sell your Lulu book exactly the same way you'd have to sell a PA book. Your gross is whatever you sell it for minus what you paid for it.

You change the cover price by changing the revenue. Lower revenue = lower cover price.

Ah, okay.

RES KID is currently set for:
Pricing and Creator Revenues: Print Your Revenue $5.00 Price $17.58 Download Your Revenue $5.00 Price $6.25

MORfiction is set for:
Pricing and Creator Revenues: Hardcover Print Your Revenue $5.00 Price $26.37 Download Your Revenue $5.00 Price $6.25

If these prices are a bit excessive, what SHOULD they cost?


K. Changed RK to $14.95 cover price as you suggested.

James D. Macdonald
04-29-2007, 04:15 PM
For trade paperback size, no more than $14.95. For hardcover, no more than $27.95.

Be aware, though, that a 156 page, 8.5x11 hardback from an unknown is going to be a very hard sell at that price.

May I suggest that you try it in 6x9 or 4.25x6.88 size paperbadk? And use perfect binding (rather than coil or saddle stapled).

Further discussion really belongs in the Self-Publishing forum....

facsmth
04-30-2007, 12:13 AM
I felt compelled to put up a different thread in the self publishing forum as per James' suggestion. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62972)

Thanks for the compliment about the cover. It was originally 16 MM bw footage. Then I 'transfered' the footage from video to still pictures on my computer. That's why it's so scratchy looking.

ResearchGuy
04-30-2007, 12:35 AM
. . .I guess Lulu charges the author to print books?...
Lulu sells book printing. You betcha it charges whoever buys the books (author or anyone else). $4.53 + $.02/page is printing cost (for example, $6.53 per copy for a 100-page book). The author can set a higher selling price and pocket 80% of the difference between that and the printing cost. I am advised that there is a quantity discount, but I don't know the cutoff for that. Publisher friend of mine got 7% discount on 45 copies ordered for ARC/galley proof use.

As for book prices . . . I know of a commercially published book, trade paperback, 172 pages, slightly smaller dimensions than 7" x 10", list-priced at $45.00. (And apparently short-discounted to the trade!)

Casanova Was a Librarian: a Light-Hearted Look at the Profession, by Kathleen Low (McFarland and Company, trade paperback, $45; ISBN 978-0-7864-2981-3).

Apparently the publisher targets the library market, which is (I am inferring) thought to be relatively price-insensitive.

I know a fellow who does well with trade paperbacks priced at $40 to $90 (the latter including a CD with forms and the like). However, those are specialized, serving a niche market, and the content is well worth the price to that market. He is an authority on his topics. (He does not use POD. Nice markup on the books. Very nice. Very, very nice.)

FWIW.

--Ken

facsmth
04-30-2007, 01:12 AM
Well, atleast it wasn't Author House I was considering to publish with. The guy over the phone blatantly told me they'd charge $680 upfront or something to that extent to.... well, I forgot what else he said. Something about them being a POD.

He explained how that was a better decision than actually having me be forced to buy 10,000 copies of my own work and store them like other publishers do. WHAT?

JulieB
04-30-2007, 03:14 AM
He was probably talking about true vanity publishing, where you do buy and distribute the books yourself.

ResearchGuy
04-30-2007, 04:24 AM
Well, atleast it wasn't Author House I was considering to publish with. The guy over the phone blatantly told me they'd charge $680 upfront or something to that extent to.... well, I forgot what else he said. Something about them being a POD.

He explained how that was a better decision than actually having me be forced to buy 10,000 copies of my own work and store them like other publishers do. WHAT?
A bit of sorting out, if I may. First off, he meant other VANITY publishers.

Author House, iUniverse, and various others are subsidy publishers. They charge for services, such as manuscript formatting, possibly editing (usually an optional extra), cover design (can be an optional extra), book design, and so on. Those are all tasks that someone has to do to produce a book. Commercial publishers do those things as part of the publishing process, incurring a lot of costs in the process (not to mention the costs of printing thousands of copies of the book, typically 3,000 to 5,000 copies in a first printing, and more for books with better anticipated sales). That is why commercial publishers HAVE to be selective about what they publish and can be picky about the authors they will publish.

Subsidy publishers take payments from authors for those services.

Self-publishers either hire people (editors, book designers, graphic artists, and so on) to provide those services, or do those things themselves. Smart, professional self-publishers (those that are morphing into small presses) do pay for those services. There ain't no free lunch. Editing, for example, can easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on what kind of editing, type of manuscript, and length. No author is his or her own best editor/copy editor/proof reader, and very few have manuscript formatting/book design skills. Certainly few have those skills at a level that will result in a professional-looking book.

Old-line vanity publishers (Vantage and Dorrance being the best known) charge tens of thousands of dollars for the illusion of publishing, and engage in some pretty snarky and exploitive practices. This is a long story and I am not going to take the time here to explain, except to note that they do produce a print run as part of the process--but retain ownership of the products (the author ends up paying twice). They are even worse, by far, than such subsidy publishers as iUniverse or AuthorHouse.

I do not think the word "blatant" really fits for what the Author House fellow told you. They sell a service. Either the customer wants to buy it or not. Outlining the charges is no more "blatant" than the plumber who says that repairing or updating your bathroom plumbing is going to cost X hundred or Y thousand dollars. Fee for service. You sell goods or services, you set a price.

For whatever it is worth, to change directions for a second, I am inclined to define "vanity publisher" as a publisher that the author pays for the act of publishing but that seeks to convince the author that it is a legitimate, selective, commercial publisher. Forthright subsidy publishers do not make that pretense, while still publishing at the author's expense. In my view, it is the deception--the flagrant appeal to the author's vanity and gullibility--that makes a vanity publisher.

All FWIW IMHO YMMV.

--Ken

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-30-2007, 04:50 AM
If I order the book or if someone else orders it?

I see an option for changing revenue, but not "cover price."

LuLu refuses to lose money: base price is printing cost and they will not let you set the price lower than that.

Christine N.
04-30-2007, 05:19 PM
Heck, BookSurge is pretty inexpensive per copy (I don't know if you have to pay any kind of fee to get in with them) and they do a fine job of printing. And I think you're able to get on Amazon instantly, since they own BookSurge. You might also need an ISBN to be with BS, I'm not sure.

But, as Ken said, there's a world of difference between vanity and TRUE self-publishing. It's A LOT of work to be a self-publisher.

facsmth
04-30-2007, 05:30 PM
Okay, so maybe "blatantly" should have been "bluntly."

I'm not sure if I know a better synonym. ...

Gravity
04-30-2007, 05:42 PM
Every time I teach at a writers conference, the whole commercial/vanity/subsidy thing rears its Medusa head. I think Ken nailed the differentiation as neatly as I've ever seen it. Would that authors would read and heed; it could save them a world of heartache.

JimmyD1318
05-01-2007, 01:32 AM
That's pricey for sure, but PA books are always softcovers. They cost from $17-$30.

There's a poster named bstevens who started an I love PA thread. No matter how anyone tried to tell her PA was no good, she stubbornly supported them. Until she got her $8 royalty check. It was sad.


I remember that. I wonder whatever happened to her?

Ken Schneider
05-01-2007, 02:43 AM
You can hardly argue with the 18,000 of us that have gone before you, Facsmth.
There are better avenues than PA, plenty.

Sean D. Schaffer
05-01-2007, 06:31 AM
Facsmith,

Welcome to AW. I'm glad you didn't go the PublishAmerica route. As a former PA author myself, I can tell you authoritatively they are not worth your time. I wish you the very best with your publishing endeavors, and more importantly, that you enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Again, welcome.

:welcome: