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Dave Sloane
12-09-2005, 12:26 PM
Anyone ever pay for AuthorHouse's marketing packages?They're expensive
and I don't know what they can do that you can't do for yourself--anyone
use 'em and did they they help you sell your AuthorHouse book? Inquiring
minds want to know!!:Lecture:

DrCaelinPaul
12-10-2005, 09:04 PM
I just received a book back from them and I am very happy with the finished product. Bare in mind that to keep your costs down you will have to do all of the grunt work in editing. Also, you are pretty much on your own in marketing your book. Hope this helps :)

GHF65
12-26-2005, 02:38 AM
I haven't seen the Authorhouse package, but when I made the ill-advised decision to go POD with iUniverse, they threw in their package as part of a promotional deal. I do have materials from Authorhouse since I considered them as well. It appears to be a similar (if not identical) promo package.

Okay . . . that said, let's get down to basics. I've said all this before in other threads, but I can't say it often enough. You can knock yourself out printing up bookmarks, postcards, emails, press releases and "sell sheets", all of which come with your promo kit. You can hand out copies of your book with all of the above to booksellers wherever you like. You can find non-bookstore markets (my book is horse-related, so I opted for tack shops, feed stores and the like as backup) and do the same there. You can buy into co-op ads in the NY Times for thousands of dollars and join Bookcrossing to release and track copies of your book "in the wild". You will still have a POD book.

Your money might be better spent on postage or how-to books that will help you get decent query letters out to agents and publishers who might want to handle your book. Trust me; you don't want to pour good money into the same black hole the bad money fell into.

IUniverse did everything they said they would do and then some. The book is of good quality, the printing, binding and cover more than acceptable. I'm not displeased with what I got for my money. I'm only displeased that I didn't spend some time really researching POD before I sent off my manuscript. Most of the copies I've sold were sold during the initial flurry of activity when the book was released. It's amazing how many online "friends" will buy one of your books without having met you in person just because they like the way you post on a bb. Then there are the friends and family who will jump at the chance. I was lucky. The local paper did a feature on POD and iUniverse sent them to me for an interview. I was the focal point of a front-page spread with photos. Very cool! Sadly, since the book is POD, no one could buy it at the book store. I was offered signings, and the offers were withdrawn when the booksellers realized I was a POD author.

Now, two years post-publication (IU gives a three-year printing contract before you have to pay again at the current higher price to re-publish) I've only sold around 200 copies. The booksellers wouldn't touch it, nor the niche stores, but my horse shoer and vet love the book and have moved dozens of copies out of the kindness of their hearts. I've pretty much run out of platform. Selling a POD book takes more than a promo kit, a wish and a promise. It takes legwork and a thick skin. My legs are tired and my skin bruised. You can bet my next three books will be shopped around until I find a commercial publisher no matter how long it takes.

If you've already signed with Authorhouse, I still recommend that you forget about their promo materials. You can use Word to create the same materials for yourself for free. All you need is a .jpg image of the book's cover, which they will undoubtedly send you with your final copy for approval before publication. That and the backcover copy are the basis for all of the promo materials. Look at press releases in the NYT book section for format and style and make up your own. If you can write a book, you can do the rest.

I wish you luck!

Mike Coombes
12-26-2005, 02:56 AM
Schoolmarm, thanks for what is probably the most honest appraisal of a Pod experience I've ever seen. Most illuminating and informative.

yeyeman9
01-29-2006, 04:43 AM
Authorhouse offers putting your book in Bookstores...no? 25,000 retailers.

citymouse
03-25-2006, 01:06 AM
I'm an Author House customer and they don't market to bookstores. Most if not all POD companies make books available to online catalogues like AMZ or B&N; beyond that it's up to you. As I've noted in other posts the killer to getting into bookstores is the short discount rate (as low as 15% in somecases) and a no return policy which Author House now offers for a mere $750! When anyone asks me about my POD experience I simply say that the product is good, the up front costs are relatively low but you have to be content with on-line customers. If you want to sell out of bookstores then you must establish a working relationship with the individual owners. Most independent bookstores do not return the books they buy (often fewer than 20), however Borders and the like do return large print orders.

POD is not for everyone. For me it's fine.

acousticgroupie
03-31-2006, 02:10 AM
everyone i talk to is anti-POD---why?

isn't it hard to get your book in a store anyway because of the costs if they don't sell it, etc?

also, anyone recommend good printers? I'm looking for a special size and a matte cover and some custom specifications...

acousticgroupie
03-31-2006, 05:20 AM
those are useful:)

i'm just not getting it---so to pay to have books made in advance isn't good but POD isn't either? are you self-published?

Ralyks
04-10-2006, 02:25 AM
Just to chime in with my POD experience:

I vanity POD published* a novel that I believed had a niche market (it was a literary sequel). I got the most basic package because I believe that vanity POD publishers do not in reality do much of anything useful for you on the promotional end--even if you pay for it. I managed to sell over 1,300 copies of my book, primarily by word-of-mouth. I did receive three positive reviews on POD blogs and internet newsletters, and I wrote an article that mentioned my book. Beyond this, I did very little promotion for my book, and the publisher of course did none. I think it sold so well because there is a niche market for this type of novel, and of the other novels already available in this genre, only a very few are well written.

In short, the experience was, overall, positive for me--although I did have some initial problems with my publisher, and in the beginning I had to stay on top of things to make sure I was getting the royalties owed me on time. After several months, things smoothed out and I was paid in a timely manner, and I have profited from my novel. Now that my two year contract is expiring, however, I have chosen not to renew it. I could probably continue to steadily sell about 40 books a month, and with my POD publisher, the per-copy royalties are actually higher than with most traditional publishers. But I know my book will never be in bookstores, and my sales will likely dwindle rather than grow, because I will never receive any real promotion from my vanity POD publisher.

I will likely bring out a new, edited, and slightly revised edition of my novel under a more traditional contract with a small press publisher instead. I think I have a good chance of that happening now, but I don't think it would have happened if I had not vanity POD published in the first place, because I found it difficult to convince publishers that this niche market really did exist and that my book would be well received by that market. Seeing a POD novel w/ no promotion that is available in no physcial bookstore still managing to sell over 1,000 copies helps to convince some publishers there is a market after all.

But this is just one experience. Most people I know who have POD published fiction have sold to friends and family, and that's about it. Unless you have a real niche, you aren't likely to profit. If you do choose to vanity POD publish, my recommendation would be--keep it simple. Choose the cheapest package (provided it at least includes an ISBN, a cover, order fulfillment, and listings on the major online retailers). The bells and whistles aren't going to pay off. Promotional packages and paying big bucks for returns isn't going to change the fact that bricks and mortar stores simply aren't going to sell a vanity published POD novel.

As for POD publishing vs. self-publishing: I chose to POD publish because: (1) I didn't want to risk a large amount of money up front on self-publishing in case I was wrong about the market and, more importantly, (2) I didn't want to do all of the work self-publishing required. I didn't want to apply for my own ISBN, warehouse and ship my own books, obtain my own listings on Amazon and BN, etc. And I didn't want to take the time to learn how to do it all. I wanted to write, not to publish. Would I have made more profit if I had self-published? Yes, probably twice as much in whole dollars. However, given the amount of time I would have to put in, and given my usual hourly rate, in the end, I would have made less in real terms.

* When I say "vanity POD publish" I mean pay a POD publisher a fee to publish your book. There are publishers who use POD technology but operate on a traditional model--i.e. they are selective, they pay you an advance and you pay them nothing, the books are returnable, the books are discounted, and the publisher does the marketing/promotion.

BardSkye
05-06-2006, 08:22 PM
I realize I'm coming in late to this thread (but I only just found this forum). For the question of finding a good printer, have you ever heard of Blitzprint in Canada? They turn out very good quality books at a very good price (especially for US authors taking advantage of the exchange rate) and will be happy to provide all the usual marketing tools as well. For a small one-time fee they will include you in their online store and get you listed with the usual online retailers as well as wholesalers if you like.

They also stand behind their product: I had one book in which they accidentally used the wrong title page (I had several books being done at the same time) and they replaced the entire run free of charge.

As far as I know there's no duty on books crossing the border.

Have a look at their site if it interests you: www.blitzprint.com (http://www.blitzprint.com)

CaoPaux
05-09-2006, 01:57 AM
those are useful:)

i'm just not getting it---so to pay to have books made in advance isn't good but POD isn't either? are you self-published?http://sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html

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

robeiae
05-16-2006, 11:49 PM
A jury found that AuthorHouse published a book that libeled someone, now it must pay...

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6335209.html?display=breaking

Interesting precedent being set, no?

Rob :)

eldragon
05-16-2006, 11:56 PM
Only 74 of the books were ever printed, and most of them weren't sold, but were returned to the publisher.


I'd love to read how the authors libeled his ex-wife. Did they use her name?

robeiae
05-16-2006, 11:58 PM
I believe so. From the article:



Some of the more incendiary claims in Paperback Poison include allegations that Brandewyne broke laws, committed adultery, plagiarized several of her books, and hired a hit man to kill her ex-husband, the book’s author.

eldragon
05-17-2006, 12:04 AM
Sounds like the ex and them have some issues.

eldragon
05-17-2006, 12:08 AM
Actually, this is quite alarming.


When no books sold, and in fact, most were recovered...........why didn't they just leave it at that?



Unless, of course, the authors were warned by her attorney not to publish the book, or not to make it clear it was about her.


There's just too little in that article to make it clear what happened, and how obvious it was that the book was about her.

AnneMarble
05-17-2006, 11:17 PM
Actually, this is quite alarming.


When no books sold, and in fact, most were recovered...........why didn't they just leave it at that?
I don't know all of the details in the case, but apparently, there have been problems going on for a while here...

Miss Snark blogged about this (http://misssnark.blogspot.com/2006/05/oh-yes-yes-yes.html), and one of the comments alleges that the ex planted a fake bomb on his front porch and then told police that Ms. Brandewyne had put it there! If this is true, then this is far from an isolated incident. And I would have sued his @ss, too. :D

eldragon
05-17-2006, 11:48 PM
I would be interested in seeing how thin a veil the authors used in this book.


My barely thought out opinion is that the author is the one who should pay up, not Author-House.


And I don't know anything about Authorhouse, but I do know it's a Vanity Publisher.

CaoPaux
05-18-2006, 12:02 AM
I would be interested in seeing how thin a veil the authors used in this book.

My barely thought out opinion is that the author is the one who should pay up, not Author-House.

And I don't know anything about Authorhouse, but I do know it's a Vanity Publisher.Our resident law shark touches on that in the comments section of Miss Snark's blog. I look forward to his full commentary, coming soon at: http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/

AnneMarble
05-18-2006, 12:03 AM
I would be interested in seeing how thin a veil the authors used in this book.
Probably Saran wrap. ;) I think it was "nonfiction," wasn't it?


My barely thought out opinion is that the author is the one who should pay up, not Author-House.

I am not a lawyer, but I think they got in trouble because they didn't properly "vet" the manuscript. This was apparently a manuscript other pubilshers had rejected because of legal issues. While AuthorHouse does have a clause indemnifying them against this kind of case, well, it didn't help. Maybe it wasn't enforceable?

Also, the CEO of AuthorHouse said he thought they were in the right because of the First Amendment -- but the First Amendment doesn't provide protection against libel. So here's this guy running a large POD printer, and he doesn't know that?!

I can't wait until Jaws blogs about this. :D

Ralyks
05-18-2006, 03:54 AM
I am not a lawyer, but I think they got in trouble because they didn't properly "vet" the manuscript. This was apparently a manuscript other pubilshers had rejected because of legal issues. While AuthorHouse does have a clause indemnifying them against this kind of case, well, it didn't help. Maybe it wasn't enforceable?

All of the vanity PODs have these clauses, and pretty much none of them vet manuscripts. If a clause like this turns out to be non-enforceable, that will likely mean the PODs have to overhaul the way they do business. They'll become more selective and publishing will take more time, which means they will make less money. Or they'll just close up shop altogether or charge more for the manuscripts they do publish. It will be interesting to see what effect this has.

According to the link above, the jury found against AuthorHouse in part because they were told at the time of publication about the problems with the book. So it seems that perhaps it is not that such clauses are unenforceable, but that the publisher was negligent so, in this case, the clause cannot be enforced. I am wondering what the author's own expense in this case was. Does anyone know?

citymouse
05-18-2006, 06:40 PM
[quote=skylarburris]All of the vanity PODs have these clauses, and pretty much none of them vet manuscripts. If a clause like this turns out to be non-enforceable, that will likely mean the PODs have to overhaul the way they do business. They'll become more selective and publishing will take more time, which means they will make less money. Or they'll just close up shop altogether or charge more for the manuscripts they do publish. It will be interesting to see what effect this has.

Skylar, I'm an Author House customer.
Publisher's Weekly noted a statement by Bryan Smith (AH President & CEO) that "...the AuthorHouse system leaves authors in control of the content of their books, the company works to identify objectionable material."

The statement "...the company works to identify objectionable material." is interesting because in all this he doesn't say how? If AH works to identify objectional material does that happen after a problem arises or before?
I'm dead certain that no one read my book to see if it contained "objectional" material.

As far as I know (caveat here) there's only one POD (Virtualbookworm) company that claims to vet products before printing. Here is part of their mission statement. "We carefully screen all manuscripts and only accept the best,..." Do they do this? I don't know. I'd be interested in hearing from other VB customers (if there are any) via PM.

I wish to add a personal note, if I may. As for opting POD as an avenue for my books. I want to state up front and firmly that vanity was not a consideration. The notion that a POD author is merely a vain wannabe is an insult. Nor was poor writing on my part an issue. My reasons are personal and have nothing to do with any bias towards traditional publishing. The differences between POD versus vanity presses are as well defined as POD versus traditional publishing.

Please, please do not let this last paragraph be a call to arms against me. I'm not here to defend the POD industry. It's just a that I see the word vanity used in such a casual way and I'm sure it's hurtful to many fine and dedicated writers who, for their own reasons, use POD for their books. Please also do not take my remarks as a personal rebuke to anyone but rather a reminder that words are very powerful, and opinions which, if they are not refuted become modifiers; whether they be accurate or not.

robeiae
05-20-2006, 03:18 PM
As far as I know (caveat here) there's only one POD (Virtualbookworm) company that claims to vet products before printing. Here is part of their mission statement. "We carefully screen all manuscripts and only accept the best,..." Do they do this? I don't know. I'd be interested in hearing from other VB customers (if there are any) via PM.Here is a link to a site listing many POD publishers and giving some basics about each...it includes a column for screening manuscripts:

http://booksandtales.com/pod/index.php

Rob :)

JennaGlatzer
05-21-2006, 01:02 AM
Michael, I responded to your comments in a new thread: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=622156

Ralyks
05-23-2006, 12:15 AM
As far as I know (caveat here) there's only one POD (Virtualbookworm) company that claims to vet products before printing. Here is part of their mission statement. "We carefully screen all manuscripts and only accept the best,..." Do they do this? I don't know. I'd be interested in hearing from other VB customers (if there are any) via PM.

I am a VB customer. I can't know if VB's claim to be selective is true, but I can say that they took awhile to get back to me after I submitted my manuscript, so they were doing something with that time. I don't think they really "vet" manuscripts; what they do is read them to check if they violate thier guidelines. They won't publish occult books, for instance, or anything they think is really, really badly written, or anything hateful, etc. I suspect VB would have noticed and passed on something as libelous as the book in question, but I can't say for sure.

I will respond to the "vanity" label issue in the thread Jenna opened.

Cece
07-08-2006, 01:45 AM
I recently received the Authorhouse package and am considering using them to do a first novel. Is there any real negative feedback with regard to this company? How safe am I having them work on my book other than the fact that I will have to more or less sell the book myself. I have been promised the AMZ and B&N publicity, as well as a web page, distribution, etc. Does anyone know whether this is real or not? I would appreciate any feedback regarding Authorhouse.

Sheryl Nantus
07-08-2006, 02:31 AM
have you attempted to find an agent and a publisher at all?

why do you want to self-pub?

ResearchGuy
07-08-2006, 03:41 AM
...Authorhouse package and am considering using them to do a first novel. Is there any real negative feedback with regard to this company? ...
I recently met an author of a book published through Authorhouse in 2004. She was signing at the local Barnes & Noble, having made an appearance as featured guest at a local civic parade. I asked her what she thought of her publisher. She thinks they are shorting her on royalties and noted that they make it impossible, as a practical matter, to check up on that. She also was unimpressed with the production qualities of her book, and I would have to agree. I bought a copy and had it autographed, as her story sounds worth reading (not to mention that she is a charming, gracious person whom I was pleased to meet). I will omit her name and book title here, but will mention that the author has a story with some minor celebrity value (child actress way back when) in addition to its intrinsic interest as a memoir.

FWIW.

--Ken

Tilly
07-08-2006, 03:42 AM
I recently received the Authorhouse package and am considering using them to do a first novel. Is there any real negative feedback with regard to this company? How safe am I having them work on my book other than the fact that I will have to more or less sell the book myself. I have been promised the AMZ and B&N publicity, as well as a web page, distribution, etc. Does anyone know whether this is real or not? I would appreciate any feedback regarding Authorhouse.

If you were determined to go down the POD route, then I think Lulu might be better, on cost if nothing else.

But from everything I've read, POD is generally not a good option for novels.

Dave Sloane
07-09-2006, 09:38 AM
I recently met an author of a book published through Authorhouse in 2004. She was signing at the local Barnes & Noble, having made an appearance as featured guest at a local civic parade. I asked her what she thought of her publisher. She thinks they are shorting her on royalties and noted that they make it impossible, as a practical matter, to check up on that. She also was unimpressed with the production qualities of her book, and I would have to agree. I bought a copy and had it autographed, as her story sounds worth reading (not to mention that she is a charming, gracious person whom I was pleased to meet). I will omit her name and book title here, but will mention that the author has a story with some minor celebrity value (child actress way back when) in addition to its intrinsic interest as a memoir.

FWIW.

--Ken

This woman thinks they are shorting her on her royalties because her book
is not selling the way she had hoped. Bet on it. It's not that they make it
impossible to check sales--there is simply no mechanism for this via
Ingram and AuthorHouse. Perhaps it would be a good idea if there was,
but that's another issue. As an author published via AuthorHouse I have
no suspicions that I am being cheated. Also, I elected the basic package
and I have no problems with the production values. The glossy paperback
cover is sturdy, the binding likewise and the print quality is good. My book
is indistinguishable from any trade paperback printed by a mainstream
publisher.

ResearchGuy
07-09-2006, 09:26 PM
This woman thinks they are shorting her on her royalties because her book is not selling the way she had hoped. Bet on it. ... I have no problems with the production values. ...
She is not a fool, in my opinion, and has a rational basis for her suspicion, but cannot (not as a practical matter) travel to the company's headquarters (in the Midwest, I believe) to look at records. Granted, the book has probably not sold a large number of copies, but she is not crazy to question the tiny royalties vs. number of copies she has reason to believe have been sold. But in any event, she believes that verification is infeasible on account of the need to go to the company's office. That, however, may well be standard practice in the industry.

I have a copy of the book and can see for myself that interior design (layout, typeface) and quality of printing are mediocre at best (and that is being generous). Perhaps the company's standards have improved since 2004.

If you had a better experience, more power to you. I offer only one anecdotal observation.

--Ken

citymouse
08-23-2006, 03:21 AM
I just got (8-22-06) a snail mail letter from Author House in reference to my book which is offered as a trade paperback and until recently on Amazon.com as an ebook. Rather than paraphrase an official memorandum I'm typing the pertinent parts here.

"One of the benefits of publishing with Author House is access to our world-class distribution channel. We make your books and e-books available for order at bookstores worldwide through the Ingram distribution network which includes Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and the AuthorHouse.com online store. Distribution through this network comes at a cost, which up until now we have been absorbing. As these costs continue to rise, we have initiated an annual $20 Distribution Channel Access Fee ("DCAF") to all book formats that have been available for order ("live") for 24 months or longer."

AH is well aware that AMZ no longer supports Adobe eBook formats. In this letter AH made no mention of supplying a new format for customers.
I have no complaints with the book AH produced for me. I am however, pissed as hell that they would ask me for $20 to renew a service on Amz that they can't fulfill. Grrrrrrrrr

Michael's maxim #1 Never lie to me unless you're absolutely certain I can never find out!"

huw
08-23-2006, 04:33 AM
They are not actually lying, though they are being disingenuous. Ingram does include the outlets claimed, it's just that the outlets can mix-and-match what they take to suit themselves. "Bookstores worldwide" have never taken the ebook data feeds, for example. Now, neither does Amazon.

The $20 fee sucks though.

dclary
09-02-2006, 12:28 AM
Still.. it's not like it's highway robbery. Is it $20 total... or $20 a year?

That's not THAT unreasonable.

citymouse
09-02-2006, 12:56 AM
Perhaps you didn't understand. Since Amazon.com stopped selling e-books in PDF format the $20 is for a service AH can't deliver (at least on the AMZ catalog). 20 bucks for something I can't have is way too much!


Still.. it's not like it's highway robbery. Is it $20 total... or $20 a year?

That's not THAT unreasonable.

dclary
09-02-2006, 02:19 AM
Doh!

You're totally right. That's boosh*t, as they say in the ghost hood.

sandholme
06-12-2007, 02:26 AM
Hi all,

I expect Authorhouse has been covered before, however I don't have the time to go through the posts right now. Therefore could someone give me the gen on publishing with UK Authorhouse?

Would it be a bad move or a good move to sign up with them? I confess other than sending my manuscript to Hayhouse and having that one rejection I haven't sent it anywhere else.

I'd be happy to hear from people who have published with Authorhouse mainly, but any information would be appreciated.

Many thanks
Wendy. You may reply direct if you wish wctdv@aol.com

citymouse
06-12-2007, 04:04 PM
S,
I'm a US AH author and while my book is a good a product as any out there, my feeling is I wouldn't go with AH again. I have a third book coming out in a few weeks through Book Surge (booksurge.com).

The thing about AH is the charge to renew your inclusion on online catalogs such as amazon.com They also push their return policy ($750 US) stating that now bookstores will be able to return book just as they do with "traditional" publishers. The catch is POD products are very hard to place in bookstores and as far as I know no brick and mortar store will order POD books because of the short discounts they offer through Ingram et al so the return policy as useless option that the author is encouraged to buy although AH knows full well it won't be used. That to me is a stinky thing to do.
I also have a book through iUniverse. My experience with them has been good, however, here too POD books don't show up in bookstores. iU so far does not charge a yearly fee to keep my book listed in online catalogs.
I have no report on my experience with Book Surge yet except to say that they are very easy to work with.
C

Rolling Thunder
06-12-2007, 04:14 PM
AuthorHouse is listed as 'not recommended' by Preditors and Editors.

http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/peba.htm

ETA: Avoid the top twenty, too. http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html

MattI
12-26-2007, 10:06 AM
AuthorHouse has offered me 30 free books and a free web site to promote my book.

I need to decide by New Year's Eve if I want to take it up on it's offer.

I read on Preditors and Editors that AuthorHouse is not recommended as a place to publish. It says it's a vanity publisher that doesn't vet its books.

What have people's experiences been like with AuthorHouse?

It's an American publisher and I live in Canada. It says since I'm not American the company will withhold royalties at the standard 30% rate. Is this normal? Why does AuthorHouse do this? Will it be difficult to get my royalties? Will I be further taxed on it when I declare it in Canada?

I've also read concerns in this forum about the company charging to renew an inclusion on amazon.com and other online catalogs. What do you kind folks know about this?

Should I go with Authorhouse?

What is the best POD Self-publisher? I've read a bit about Lulu, is it one of the best?

Thanks in advance,

Matt

citymouse
12-27-2007, 12:28 AM
Matt, I have a book with AH. It is true that they have been sued for publishing books that were not "vetted".
Other houses and their authors have been sued so I'm not sure that issue should determine if AH is a bad choice for you.

The royalty of 30% is for TAX purposes. What they mean is they will withhold 30% of the 10-20% royalty you are paid on each book. When tax time comes you should get a CPA to weed through the details. My guess any US company you deal with will have the same withholding practice.

Author House does charge an annual renewal fee for keeping your book in on line catalogues. It was $25/US. I don't know if they have upped it yet.

If you lived in the US I would suggest iUniverse as being the perhaps best.

I hope you realize that 99.9% of any sales you make will be via online catalogues. Unless you have the connections to get your book into independent stores the chances of seeing it on shelves is very slight. POD is notoriously expensive. You'll be lucky to make up your cash outlay with royalties. However, if your intention is to be read, then yes POD will get you that.

I suppose I should cut to the chase and say that if you do not have the skills to format your MS into book form and produce it via an company like Lulu then you should search for a Canadian firm for your POD adventure. Believe me it's an eye opener.

The last time I Looked Lulu didn't arrange for online catalogue services. These outfits do respond to competition so they may have that feature now.

I wish I could be more encouraging. I do know there is a Canadian POD firm in Vancouver. You may want to seek them out. They do vet their books and have an editorial/read staff. As always you will have to pay for this service which may or may not be required.
Good Luck
C






AuthorHouse has offered me 30 free books and a free web site to promote my book.

I need to decide by New Year's Eve if I want to take it up on it's offer.

I read on Preditors and Editors that AuthorHouse is not recommended as a place to publish. It says it's a vanity publisher that doesn't vet its books.

What have people's experiences been like with AuthorHouse?

It's an American publisher and I live in Canada. It says since I'm not American the company will withhold royalties at the standard 30% rate. Is this normal? Why does AuthorHouse do this? Will it be difficult to get my royalties? Will I be further taxed on it when I declare it in Canada?

I've also read concerns in this forum about the company charging to renew an inclusion on amazon.com and other online catalogs. What do you kind folks know about this?

Should I go with Authorhouse?

What is the best POD Self-publisher? I've read a bit about Lulu, is it one of the best?

Thanks in advance,

Matt

ResearchGuy
12-27-2007, 12:35 AM
. . .
Should I go with Authorhouse?

What is the best POD Self-publisher? I've read a bit about Lulu, is it one of the best? . . .
Matt, it would take a book to answer all of your questions.

Let me offer one piece of advice in the meantime: do NOT be rushed into anything. Subsidy POD publishers abound. There is no need for you to run into one's arms. Forget their scams to force an immediate decision.

The tax questions belong to a tax expert. This is probably a very bad place for those questions.

Take a look at http://www.lulu.com/content/740262 -- you can read the whole thing free in "preview" form online. It will help to orient you to the range of possible options and their pros and cons.

If you really WANT a subsidy POD publisher, consider Trafford, a Canadian company. As for the best among them, Aventine Press, in San Diego, California, USA, is well regarded. But you might do better to pursue commercial publication as your first option (my little screed on "The Pursuit of Publishing," the link above, might help in thinking about options).

Lulu is a different animal than AuthorHouse, Trafford, and the other subsidy publishers. Lulu is basically a book printing service, although it offers publishing options and also deals in other formats (CDs and suchlike). It is more for the do-it-yourselfer. FWIW, I am using Lulu.com to publish an anthology in cooperation with a local group of mystery writers and will probably use it to publish a couple of novels by a local writer (and I have used it to produce a booklet that I use primarily for my own marketing purposes and to save time in talking with writers). Lulu has a learning curve and requires that you either have or buy various kinds of expertise. Lulu is the subject of some extensive threads on AW.

Good luck with your endeavors.

--Ken

Stormhawk
12-27-2007, 12:52 AM
Lulu also doesn't keep the 30% if you send in the appropriate tax form. They may withhold some, depending on the law, but it may not be the whole 30%.

"With a valid W-8BEN form on file with Lulu, your withholding rate is set at the percentage defined in the tax treaty between the U.S. and your Beneficial Country as appropriate for royalties. These rates vary by country. Without a valid W-8BEN form on file, your withholding rate is set at the default backup withholding rate for foreign entities as determined by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. Currently this rate is 30%."

Gillhoughly
12-30-2007, 08:34 PM
Here's some stuff that I hope will keep you from making a bad mistake:

http://ripoffreport.com/searchresults.asp?q1=ALL&q4=&q6=&q3=&q2=&q7=&searchtype=0&submit2=Search%21&q5=authorhouse

http://www.badbusinessbureau.com/reports/0/241/RipOff0241945.htm

You can TRUST Editors and Preditors about the "Not Recommended." They would not put that up lightly, but only after LOTS of people wrote in complaining against AH.

I know how wonderful it is to have someone say they want to print your words, but AH is saying that with an eye on the contents of your bank account. That's a conflict of interest.

A hooker will find anyone sexy so long as she keeps getting cash from him.

Yog's Law: Money flows TO the writer.

If any one of the warning signs listed on this page--

http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubwarn.htm

turns up on a publishers website--RUN.

There's no hurry here. Try paying publishers first. If you get rejected, you rewrite and do it again and keep doing it until you sell.

jamiehall
12-30-2007, 08:52 PM
You can read about the lawsuit they lost here (http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6335209.html).

You can read about my own experience with Authorhouse here (http://www.jamiehall.org/), however you should keep in mind that I'm an anomaly. By what calculations I've been able to do, I've decided that my sales probably put me in the top 1% of Authorhouse authors. Most authors do far worse than me (average sales per title is something like 80 books). And yet, even the "success" I found was hollow and meaningless. I canceled my contract and I'm now trying to enter the legitimate side of the publishing industry.

jamiehall
12-30-2007, 09:04 PM
I know how wonderful it is to have someone say they want to print your words, but AH is saying that with an eye on the contents of your bank account. That's a conflict of interest.

A hooker will find anyone sexy so long as she keeps getting cash from him.


The Publisher Dating Dictionary (http://www.kitwhitfield.com/publisherdating.html) says that the way self-publishing is viewed by the legitimate publishing industry is equivalent to someone saying 'The prostitutes I sleep with tell me I'm good in bed.'

Dustry Joe
12-30-2007, 11:30 PM
I agree with Researchguy. The "short fuse" is a big red flag. It's a technique used by time share scamsters, telemarketers and such, not by legitimate businesses.

My guess is that if you told them you are tied up thorugh New Years and unable to decide right now you'd find another, similar or better offer extended.

Another question: do they want you to give them money?
Because if so, you might want to price how much it would cost to set up your own website and have 30 books printed on your own or by luly or some such.

This company has a bad smell around for a long time now. But the "ACT NOW!" thing would make me turn it down, right there.

Gillhoughly
12-31-2007, 01:22 AM
A new writer just starting out needs to do deep research about self-publishing and view the con side with an open mind. That's hard to do when one is eager to get into print--been there done that, so I know!

Places like Publish America and AuthorHouse know exactly how to play on that eagerness and impatience so it turns into money for them. They are the bottom feeders of publishing and are very good at parting the unwary and inexperienced from their cash and their dreams.

When shopping for wheels in some used car lot you ALWAYS look under the hood, check the tran-fluid color, oil color, and see if there's any squicky puddles under the engine or foam around the battery points. Don't trust the salesman when he slaps the roof and declares it's the right car for you and if you buy now he'll give you a toaster, but the offer ends in 10 minutes so hurry.

Same rules for vanity places like AH. Keep your pocket zipped and look elsewhere; they're bad news.


As it happens I'm looking into self-publishing a collection of my out-of-print short stories and have been checking for printers instead of vanity press, POD or E-books.

The problem for that is the writer does have to shell out his own cash. Some printers offer copyediting, layout, covers, ISBN, copyrighting, the whole package, for a flat price that goes up depending how much you want to buy.

If you KNOW all that stuff--and after 18 years in publishing I do--then going to a printers that caters to small print runs is an option.

I might be able to get away with self-publishing; I've got a track record and a fan base that might buy a signed and numbered limited edition, but I can't recommend it to a new writer with a first novel. The odds are simply against new writers being literary Mozarts the first time out.

It took me two years and 25 rewrites before my first book turned into something readable. As I understand things, THAT was a remarkably brief time for me to figure out the basics--and I didn't get serious about it until my mid-30s!

The stuff I wrote in high school and college? Oi vey, what a lot of blackmail material it is! Soon as I find a suspicious file with some of that stuff in it my shredder gets a workout! :D

jamiehall
12-31-2007, 03:36 AM
AuthorHouse has offered me 30 free books and a free web site to promote my book.

I need to decide by New Year's Eve if I want to take it up on it's offer.



There's no hurry. When I was on Authorhouse's email list, I got a new "special offer" coming to my inbox every 2 or 3 months. They differed, but not by a lot. One of the most common offers was to take $100 off the price. That one came a lot. Another one was to give you for free one of their expensive services, such as copies of the book sent out to reviewers or a free ad (of course, you still had to pay for the publishing itself in order to get these "free" services).

Free web sites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_web_hosting_service) are everywhere (http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Hosting/Free//). If you have gmail, you can even get an ad-free one here (http://pages.google.com/-/about.html) (just ask anyone with gmail for an invite if you don't have gmail). I'm not sure how often they offer 30 free books, but I'm sure it'll cycle around again - or perhaps there will be a different offer you'll like better than 30 free books. In either case, you don't lose anything by waiting.

veinglory
02-01-2008, 03:49 AM
So for the second day all authorhouse books on Amazon are not being sold dirrectly, only through third parties. Scrap, glitch... something else?

I am trying to pull together any information here: http://podpeep.blogspot.com/2008/01/amazoniuniverse-glitch-veinglory.html

If anyone has asked iU, authorhouse or Amazon about this and got a response I would love to hear what it was.

MickRooney
02-01-2008, 04:15 AM
Veinglory,

It seems to be just the US wing of amazon who are showing them available third party only. I've checked amazon.co.uk and all authorhouse titles are still showing as available, with all the "super saver delivery" bells n all.

Just can't imagine its a glitch. Something maybe in the pipeline we haven't heard.

Mick

http://mickrooney.blogspot.com

MickRooney
02-01-2008, 05:35 AM
Right, have had a closer look at this. The state of play seems to be:

Amazon.co.uk are showing no sign of any availibility problems with either IUniverse or Authorhouse titles. I checked both ends of best to lower sellers.

Amazon US it seems is showing no direct ships of Authorhouse titles - only third party. IUniverse, on the other hand, some of the big selling titles like "What to eat with IBD" are available to ship from amazon US, but the lower ranked titles are now marked third party.

That says to me, this may not be something in the pipeline for a few days, but was in fact planned further out to wind stocks down. Rather than IUniverse or Authorhouse, I think we may hear news quicker off Author Solutions who now own both brands.

Mick.

http://mickrooney.blogspot.com

MickRooney
02-01-2008, 07:49 PM
As of now, seems everyone has kissed and made up!

veinglory
02-01-2008, 07:52 PM
:)

And I guess nothing more will be said about it... Yes, I am nosy. That's why I blog. It legitimises being a snoop.

PreciousPuppy
03-08-2008, 05:25 AM
I am considering AuthorHouse for my novel because I haven't found an agent or a publisher. How else can you get known when you're first starting out?
I have seen one of their books, and it looks fine. It's the marketing piece I'm concerned about. Has anyone seen really good testimonials?
--pp

citymouse
03-08-2008, 06:36 AM
I am considering AuthorHouse for my novel because I haven't found an agent or a publisher. How else can you get known when you're first starting out?
I have seen one of their books, and it looks fine. It's the marketing piece I'm concerned about. Has anyone seen really good testimonials?
--pp

I have three books via POD. One is an iUniverse product, the second Author House and the third through Book Surge. All three are fine products yet my royalties with AH are ridiculously stingy.

IMO if a writer understands that he/she will have to sell a lot of books to make up the upfront $$ to the POD companies and that 99% of sales will derive from online catalogs like Amazon.com, then all well and fine.
POD marketing strategies cost a fortune and rely on the author to push the book. POD companies won't/don't market for you.

BTW Book Surge recently increased its royalty from 25% to 35%.

C

MickRooney
03-10-2008, 04:50 AM
Precious Puppy,

The general consensus is that POD/Subsidy (print-on-demand) publishers are more suitable for non-fiction, and often quite niche at that, however if you are sure you want go the POD publisher route for a novel, then you might first consider LuLu.com first before the Subsidy publishers. I would certainly not recommend Authorhouse as a starting point for a novel, they are a mass author mill publisher, and if you really want to go the POD subsidy route, you'd be better looking at Mill City or DogEar as a publisher.

In short, no matter who you go with, you need to plan out your own marketing strategy yourself, as few PODsubsidy publishers will do little for you even if you waste money on their own marketing packages. Plan ahead, set up your own blogsite specifically about your novel. There are plenty of resourses on absolutewrite about self-marketing and also around the net.

Mick Rooney

http://mickrooney.blogspot.com

ResearchGuy
03-10-2008, 07:01 AM
. . .How else can you get known when you're first starting out?. . .
An excellent question. Let me highly recommend a book published last year by Writer's Digest Press, titled How I Got Published. In it, a hundred or so authors describe their experiences. Few are household names, but pretty near all of them are commercially published, many with several books and many with well-established publishers. The one key element stressed throughout is persistence.

--Ken