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dkvet
05-15-2007, 04:09 PM
There are several companies that will publish your book for no up front fees. It seems, however, that the books are overpriced to make up the difference???

ResearchGuy
05-15-2007, 07:34 PM
There are several companies that will publish your book for no up front fees. It seems, however, that the books are overpriced to make up the difference???
That is certainly the case with PublishAmerica--inflated list price plus pressure on authors to buy in bulk (50 to 100 copies or more).

I was unaware that any others operated on the same model. The rest of the subsidy/vanity publishers (iUniverse, AuthorHouse, and so on) all require fees (subsidies) in advance. Real commercial publishers of course never take money from the author, but rather pay the author royalties, and often (but not invariably) advances against anticipated royalties.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly: legitimate commercial publishers (Random House, for example) pay the author. The author never pays them to publish the book.

The subsidy model has its place, but must never be confused with normal commercial publishing.

--Ken

Dusk
05-19-2007, 01:56 PM
As some here undoubtedly know, Lulu uses Lightning Source as its printer for books that are distributed to bookstores. Though I haven't worked with Lightning Source myself, the figures I've seen from various Internet sources is that Lightning Source charges 1.3 cents per page. Lulu charges two cents per page.

I think Lulu's hidden padding is reasonable, given that it serves as a middle-man - and there's also some complexity in the fact that Lulu has to gain back the price of the set-up fee that Lightning Source charges it. However, Lulu doesn't mention the mark-up in any of its FAQ - instead, the company implies that it makes all of its money through the percentage it charges for the sale of each book. Since Lulu is among the most honest of the self-publishing/subsidy services, I'd be very surprised if other services weren't doing this too.

Basically, any time that you're using a middle-man rather than working directly with a printer, you can expect that the middle-man will take a cut. It's just a matter of how high the cut is, and whether the cut makes the list price of the book unaffordable to buyers. Some authors taking this approach have found that they can keep the list price low enough to attract buyers, but you need to figure out from the start what the list price of your book will be.

veinglory
05-19-2007, 06:46 PM
Given that self-publishing providers are not charities they must make their money either by a fee or a cut of the cover price (or both). It pays to work out the exact charge, likely sales and make a choice based on that.

huw
05-21-2007, 01:54 AM
Lulu also marks up the binding cost and enforces a 50% wholesale discount. The markups on printing and binding are understandable, but blocking access to short discounts seems silly to me.

Here's the help page with their pricing:

http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=distro_pricing_ex

dkvet
06-06-2007, 03:58 PM
YBK is another that doesn't charge up front fees.