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solutionrs
04-06-2004, 12:25 AM
I recently submitted my manuscript of my book "Five days to a security breakdown" to Virtualk Bookworm and I have now received this response.

Mr. Smith:
Thank you for your submission. After a complete review, we are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been accepted for publication.


The next step is for you to download and complete our submission package/publishing kit at www.virtualbookworm.com/i...ckage.pdf. (http://www.virtualbookworm.com/infodocs/submissionpackage.pdf.) You will also want to read the "Virtualbookworm Submissions Made Easy" and the Layout Sample booklets so you can reformat your manuscript using the guidelines. These materials can be obtained at www.virtualbookworm.com/i...kets.html. (http://www.virtualbookworm.com/infopackets.html.)

solutionrs
04-06-2004, 12:26 AM
I recently submitted my manuscript of my book "Five days to a security breakdown" to Virtualk Bookworm and I have now received this response.

Mr. Smith:
Thank you for your submission. After a complete review, we are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been accepted for publication.


The next step is for you to download and complete our submission package/publishing kit at www.virtualbookworm.com/i...ckage.pdf. (http://www.virtualbookworm.com/infodocs/submissionpackage.pdf.) You will also want to read the "Virtualbookworm Submissions Made Easy" and the Layout Sample booklets so you can reformat your manuscript using the guidelines. These materials can be obtained at www.virtualbookworm.com/i...kets.html. (http://www.virtualbookworm.com/infopackets.html.)

KivrinAngel
04-06-2004, 03:53 AM
I don't know anything specific about this company. In fact, I've never heard of it, which doesn't bode well for them being able to get "walk in" traffic for you book. However, after searching their site, I do see they are a POD publisher, which is never a very good idea in my opinion. In fact, this was on their main publishing page:

NOTE: On January 1, 2004, we had to increase our prices slightly. However, we no longer charge any annual maintenance fees for the first two years! For authors who have their own cover and/or layout, the prices will stay virtually the same as before if you qualify for the new "Do-It-Yourself" rebate.

That wouldn't make me feel real warm and fuzzy if they're raising their prices. My suggestions is that you read the posts on this board about POD publishers. The Publish America link has LOTS of information about them even though most is specifically about that company.

I'm also curious, have you tried the New York publishers? Remember, the publisher is supposed to pay you, not the other way around. Virtual Bookworm's site has some propoganda about how difficult it is to get published at a New York house and how little money you get from them. Don't buy it. 5-10% royalties on 100,000 books sold is a heck of a lot more than 50% royalties on 5 books sold.

Robin

Stephenie Hovland
04-06-2004, 05:38 AM
I don't have experience with them. But they do charge a set-up fee.
www.bookwormpublishing.co...=3&lang=en (http://www.bookwormpublishing.com/supportcenter/kb.cgi?view=3&lang=en)

So, you have to look at the other posts in this board. They all warn about print on demand subsidy publishers. You can go that route, but please research everything before you sign a contract.

Stephenie

vstrauss
04-06-2004, 07:16 AM
Writer Beware has received a number of complaints about Virtual Bookworm. Most involve unpaid royalties, or royalty statements that don't reflect the actual number of books sold. Some authors are looking into legal action.

- Victoria

bentbrains
04-11-2004, 05:43 AM
Think about it. You are paying for your book to be printed. You are buying it. That isn't legit no matter how you slice it. You need to get paid for your work and not pay for it to be published. Unless you are fully aware that you are paying someone hard cash to publish your book, then keep looking!:shrug

bentbrains
04-12-2004, 04:10 AM
yes, I think kivrinAngel said it all with "the publisher is suppose to pay you. Not the other way around."

EGGammon
01-02-2005, 08:09 PM
Has anyone published with them? You have to pay, because it is a POD, but they screen what MS they get in (so they aren't a vanity publisher) and if you pay a little more, they will allow returns, which gives you a WAY better chance of getting your book into stores (though it's never a guarantee). And for a small fee, they will keep a certain amount of books in storage, so that if someone orders them, they don't have to way that LONG wait for them to print up the book. I was considering them for my books and wanted to get some heads up whether they are good or not. Anyone ever gone through them? Any opinions are appreciated!

(By the way, I considered going through an agent or a traditional publisher, but my first book, the first of a series I have been writing for 7 years, ends on a cliffhanger, which I've been told will make my book really hard to publish, because publishers tend not to invest in a series unless they know for sure it will be a success. So, that's why I was looking around on the internet for this type of publisher)

E.G. Gammon

vstrauss
01-02-2005, 10:05 PM
Writer Beware has gotten a number of complaints about Virtual Bookworm, most of them involving nonpayment of royalties. Last I heard, one of VB's writers was attempting to put together a class action lawsuit.

>>You have to pay, because it is a POD, but they screen what MS they get in (so they aren't a vanity publisher)<<

If you have to pay, it's either a vanity publisher or a self-publishing operation (though many people don't make a distinction), and you'll have to deal with the pay-to-publish stigma. Also, even where companies like this are selective, it's minimal selectivity, designed only to screen out things like hate literature or porn, or stuff that's obviously too long or too short.

>>if you pay a little more, they will allow returns, which gives you a WAY better chance of getting your book into stores<<

Many of the POD-based self-publishing services, such as Inifinity, are offering this perk. Often the conditions for return are such that booksellers won't find it attractive.

Besides, if no one knows your book exists (and companies like this leave all marketing to you), they won't know to order it, returns policy or not.

Bottom line: even if VB were good at paying its royalties, you aren't getting anything different there than you would at iUniverse or Trafford or any of the self-pub services. As has been discussed here before, POD self-pub can be a good option in certain specific circumstances--for instance, a nonfiction author who has a niche audience he knows how to reach, or someone who speaks or lectures and can sell books at those occasions--but for most novelists, it doesn't result in either sales or professional credit.

Maybe your book won't attract a commercial publisher's interest. But what do you have to lose by trying? You can always go back to the POD idea later on.

- Victoria

skylarburris
01-04-2005, 10:32 PM
I have published a novel with Virtualbookworm. I chose to use a vanity POD because I knew I had a small, pre-existent market that I did not think was large enough to attract a traditional publisher. But I had a well written book, and I wanted to make it available in print for my audience.

I chose Virtualbookworm because:

(1) They do engage in at least some screening. VirtualBookworm screens out occult books, porn books, and hate books. I also know (from some other VB writers) that if your book is particularly poorly written, they will not accept it until it has been edited. However, this does not mean they don't publish some badly written and poorly edited books; they do. It only means they won't publish absolutely everything they receive, and, unlike some PODs, they do have some kind of a minimum quality standard, even if that standard is low.

(2) They pay higher royalties than most PODs (50% of net receipts). For me, this has amounted to about 18% of the cover price for sales from Amazon and B&N.com

(3) They have a non-exclusive two year contract that ties you to using Virtualbookworm as your POD, but you can go with a traditional publisher and you can end the contract with written notification. These are much better terms than most POD contracts.

My experience?

(1) I chose the most basic package. I am of the opinion that getting any kind of extra services from a POD is largely a waste of money. You need to take charge of your own promotion, and you will probably get better (and less expensive) editing by researching and choosing your own freelance editor. I didn't pay to keep extra books in stock--something you mentioned--because that ONLY keeps extra books on hand with the publisher; it does not affect Amazon or B&N's stock, which is where you will sell most of your books. Amazon usually reads that my book takes 7 to 14 days.

(2) Royalty payments are often delayed. So far I have always received them eventually, but they nearly always arrive 15 or more days after the check was supposed to have been cut. Royalty payments are supposed to be made monthly. Many PODs only pay quarterly, so the main reason the delay bothers me so much is that it injures my confidence in the publisher. Lately, payment speed has improved, but it is still usually late.

(3) I had to keep on top of things during the publishing process and be a squeaky wheel to ensure my cover photo and details were on Amazon.

(4) Since my book appeared about seven months ago, I've sold about as many copies as I expected, and I've made a few hundred dollars over and above my publishing expenses.
Overall, I am satisfied with sales and royalties. But I was realistic about them from the beginning.

Ralyks
04-10-2005, 06:59 PM
To provide an update on my previous post:

My experience?

(1) Amazon usually reads that my book takes 7 to 14 days.

Due to Ingram's new virtual stocking system, this now usually reads 24 hours to 3 days.

(2) Royalty payments are often delayed.

I have received all of my payments to date. I have requested that future payments be made by PayPal to prevent delays (or at least to prevent excuses for delays).

(3) Since my book appeared about seven months ago, I've sold about as many copies as I expected, and I've made a few hundred dollars over and above my publishing expenses.

I've now sold more copies than I expected, and I've made over a thousand dollars above my publishing expenses. I have done nothing to promote my book other than to write free articles that mention it and rely on word-of-mouth.

I still think it was the right decision for me. I knew I had a market for this book, but I knew that market was small and not likely to interest a "real" publisher. I've reached the market I wanted to reach. Most of my readers have enjoyed the book. I've made a profit. I'm content. Now, I am working on a second novel aimed at the same audience. I may self-publish this time (rather than POD publish), but I will first seek out an agent or "traditional" publisher. The market I am writing for should be growing in the near future, which ought to make my work more marketable and therefore more interesting to a "real" publisher.


We'll see how I feel two or three months from now.

bellaluna
04-26-2005, 06:30 PM
I have read some posts that indicate that someone may be looking to create a lawsuit against Virtualbokworm. Please reply to me if this is the case, since I would like to be involved. My title has sold over a thousand books, but I have a long list of instances where Virtualbookworm has simply not come through.

If anyone has specific information on legal actions, please let me know.

For anyone considering them, note: I have had a number of friends buy my book through them, but then never saw the royalty for the sale. I had to beg to get my Library of Congress number taken care of, which was supposedly included in the package. My dealings with them are always very frustrating. When I call, I always get one person: Bobby. Often there is a kid crying in the background. I think this is a one man operation, run at home by someone who is not competent enough to be doing so. I think if you plan on making very few sales, then it may be a good company to go with, but otherwise, DO NOT USE THEM.

scullars
04-27-2005, 04:27 AM
I just gave notice a few days ago to cancel my contract with Virtualbookworm on a POD I did two years ago. Even though my Amazon numbers reflect constant sales, the report Bobby just gave me only indicates 4 sales this year. From what you say, I am somewhat suspicious. But then, maybe the Amazon numbers are skewered. I just don't feel like dealing with this group anymore. Shipping was always late, and I missed out on my book being a book-of-the-month for a bookclub b/c the members couldn't get the book in time. PODing just isn't worth it unless you have money to purchase the books up front, then resell them. Thankfully, my 2nd novel has been picked up by a publisher; now I'll have a different set of marketing worries. :)

mrs75
05-06-2005, 10:20 AM
I too published with Virtual Bookworm, as a matter of fact I have published 2 books with the company. One in 2002 and the other in 2003. Over the years I have always spoke with Bobby, the only problems I seem to have with them is I never did receive a copy of my copyright information which was in the contract that they take care of. When I emailed about this Bobby told me it may have been due to the mailing system being slow over the 9/11 deal, and still to this day I have not received those documents. I have considered contacting the copyright office to check if it was ever registered because if it wasn't then that seems to be a breach of the contract which I have a signed copy of.

Over the time I have had my books with this company I have received about 3 royalty checks. I like the other author posted, have had friends and family who bought my book and told me about it, one even had me sign the book for her. Hearing about this and me not getting a royalty report or check got me to wondering so I recently contacted Bobby about this and he has told me that a few books were returned, I responded by telling him I'm not sure where those returns came from, but the friends that bought my book haven't returned them, as a matter of fact (I told him), they just got the book and haven't begin reading it yet. His second response to this was I should be getting a royalty report in my email in May. I haven't had one in a long time so this makes me wonder too since I know from his first email I did have sales but received no report on them. Now that it is May I'm waiting for the report to see if my friends' sales show. I don't know when he sends them out, but I guess I'll wait until the end of the month, and if I don't receive one I'll contact him again.

After reading all these posts my mind wonders even more. All I ever heard about Virtual Bookworm when I researched them before publishing with them was good things, and so I didn't hesitate. I will be watching for further posts about Virtual Bookworm, and will be looking other places for more information. If I find out anything new I'll be sure to post here with the information.

Finally, I would also like to be contacted if anyone is speaking with a lawyer about taking legal action against this publisher. Contact me at msks04@shawneelink.net

It makes me sad, because it seems most all the POD publishers are taking authors. POD was suppose to provide services to new writers, and the thought of them all taking us instead of helping makes me sick. I guess I may have to consider going down the traditional publishing route again. Traditional publishing seems to be a long process, but it may be worth the time. I am also considering self-publishing but am looking into some things first.

I'll sign off now, I just wanted to give my two cents, and let everyone know about my experience with Virtual Bookworm as well; we have to stick together in order to warn others.

MMo
05-06-2005, 10:57 AM
mrs75 -- You can check for your copyright registration yourself.
Go here:
http://www.copyright.gov/records/

There is some delay in getting the registration information into the database, but any book published in 2002 or 2003 should show up by now. This is not the same as the Library of Congress card catalogue, which does not include information on all books with registered copyrights.

Mo

mrs75
05-07-2005, 12:50 AM
Mo,

Thank you for the link and information, I will head over to check it out. Appreciate your help.

God Bless,
Misti Sandefur
http://www.mistisandefur.com

Ralyks
05-14-2005, 02:40 AM
I just gave notice a few days ago to cancel my contract with Virtualbookworm on a POD I did two years ago. Even though my Amazon numbers reflect constant sales, the report Bobby just gave me only indicates 4 sales this year. From what you say, I am somewhat suspicious. But then, maybe the Amazon numbers are skewered. I just don't feel like dealing with this group anymore. Shipping was always late, and I missed out on my book being a book-of-the-month for a bookclub b/c the members couldn't get the book in time. PODing just isn't worth it unless you have money to purchase the books up front, then resell them. Thankfully, my 2nd novel has been picked up by a publisher; now I'll have a different set of marketing worries. :)

What do you mean by your Amazon numbers? There's no way to get a number of sales on Amazon, only your sales rank. If your sales rank is any higher than 100,000, you're not selling much if anything.

I have had problems with delayed royalty payments, and I have had to pester the publisher repeatedly to receive timely payments. As of last month, I requested to be paid only by PayPal to prevent any "mail delays," and I was paid in a timely manner last month. So far, all of my payments (though delayed) have arrived, and they seem to match up with my sales as best as I can estimate them (based on Amazon sales rank and Ingram's stock numbers). I have been paid over $1,400 in royalties.

I will post again in this thread if the status of my situation changes, but thus far, the only problem I have experienced is poor communication and moderate delays in payments, which seems to have been resolved as of last month.

I think some authors may overestimate thier sales. The problem is that there is no central way to determine this. You can check Ingram stock numbers, but that is not the complete picture. However, if you know a book has been purchased directly from virtualbookworm, and that does not show up in the statement, that would naturally be cause for concern. I have not experienced that problem.

Ralyks
05-14-2005, 02:46 AM
Over the time I have had my books with this company I have received about 3 royalty checks. I like the other author posted, have had friends and family who bought my book and told me about it, one even had me sign the book for her. Hearing about this and me not getting a royalty report or check got me to wondering so I recently contacted Bobby about this and he has told me that a few books were returned, I responded by telling him I'm not sure where those returns came from, but the friends that bought my book haven't returned them, as a matter of fact (I told him), they just got the book and haven't begin reading it yet. His second response to this was I should be getting a royalty report in my email in May. I haven't had one in a long time so this makes me wonder too since I know from his first email I did have sales but received no report on them. Now that it is May I'm waiting for the report to see if my friends' sales show. I don't know when he sends them out, but I guess I'll wait until the end of the month, and if I don't receive one I'll contact him again.

Royalties are paid monthly IF you exceed $25; otherwise they are held over until the amount exceeds $25. Sales reports are sent quarterly. Sales on Amazon take 60 (or 90? can't recall) days to show up in your royalties. All of this is stated in the contract and elsewhere on the website. So it is possible these sales just haven't shown up yet, or you didn't meet the $25 threshold. However, unless you purchased a returns program, I don't know what he means by claiming you had books returned. POD books cannot be returned usually. Once paid for they are paid for, and you should get your royalty. Did you purchase a returns program?

mrs75
05-25-2005, 12:16 AM
First off, to answer skylarburris's question, no, I did not purchase a return package with VBW.

Now for my update, after I posted my first message here the next day I received an email from Bobby. It seems he read my post here and wanted to know what the problem was. I told him about the copyright issue, my unpaid royalties, and also about not getting my May royalty report yet. By the way, I did contact the copyright office and it was never registered by VBW, and when I told Bobby about this he admited - finally, that it was never registered, and he stated that they no longer offer this option to authors. I told him he may not offer it no longer, but it is still in our contract that VBW is to do the registration for Help From Above. He then told me he would mail me the papers I needed to do the copyright myself, and that VBW would pay for it. Update 1, I'm still waiting on those papers, and I have contacted him twice about these now and got no response. I will keep trying to contact him, and will update again when I see the papers from him as promised.

UPDATE 2: A few days after Bobby contacted me regarding my post here he did manage to get me my login information to see my May royalty report, so I did finally get this report, and it did show me sales for both my books which pleased me :hooray:. The sale one of my friends has given me I don't think will show up until Ingram gets their reports to VBW to pass on to us, because this sale was made through Amazon I believe, and it takes 90 days I believe for those to show.

It seems that VBW is working on a new royalty system so authors can check their royalties monthly, and from the email Bobby sent to me I gather that he is working to get this system completed. Bobby was kind enough to go ahead and email me login information even though he hadn't gotten to it yet. He went ahead and sent me my royalty information so that I could get my May royalty report that he promised me a month ago. I do thank him for that kindness.

UPDATE 3: I do have proof here of some unpaid royalties of $46.47 that I brought to his attention, and he stated he would work on that issue as soon as he got everyone's login information sent to them so they too can check their royalties. As of today I am still waiting to hear about this issue, and I will let you know the update on it.

In my last email to Bobby (a week ago), I asked him about the copyright papers again, and I also asked him why, if he read my posting here, and the other postings, why he did not reply to them on the board; I'm still waiting for the answer on that too. Seems if he reads this board you'd think he would reply and try to help all who seem to be having problems here :Shrug:.

Bobby seems to be trying to work with me on my problems, though communication is slow and sometimes does go unanswered. When communication goes unanswered I just keep emailing again a month or few weeks later and then I'll finally get a reply. I think VBW does need to work on improving their customer service :mad:.

I will continue to update everyone here on my unresolved issues regarding the copyright registration and the unpaid royalties.

One last thing today, if you are having trouble with VBW as your posts show, maybe you can contact Bobby and see if he is willing to help. You may not get a response, and you may. If nothing else phone him. He does seem willing to help, but there are things still left unresolved :mad:, and that may be due to trying to get the royalty system going. Maybe after he gets that going they will work on better customer support service (let's cross our fingers for that).

Best of Luck To Everyone & God Bless

victoriastrauss
05-25-2005, 01:12 AM
It seems that VBW is working on a new royalty system so authors can check their royalties monthly, and from the email Bobby sent to me I gather that he is working to get this system completed.This sounds awfully familiar. I heard from an author in 2003 who was given an identical explanation for why he wasn't getting royalty statements.

- Victoria

Stephanie R
05-25-2005, 03:49 AM
You guys sound waaay more patient than I would be. I think if I encountered such a mess, I would start sending letters registered mail-return receipt requested-green card thing-signature required. Tell him what you want, and give him 7 days (or 14 days or whatever) to complete everything. Tell him you will turn him over to whomever it is in state government that monitors consumer problems. I am betting the IRS would be pretty interested in this guy's activities as well, so you might throw a complaint to the IRS in as a cherry on top.

I think you should be able to download the copyright forms from the copyright office. If not, the forms are probably somewhere on Google, too. Hey, maybe that would be a good thing to add as a resource on this website? The Copyright forms?

With all the helpful people here, I am also betting you will find people who can help you fill out any parts of the forms that are confusing. I am really sorry to hear about what you are going through. If I can sick my dog -- or rather, my neighbor's dog who thinks he lives here -- on him, you just let me know. ;) (Of course, it's a miniture poodle mut mix, so I'm not sure how much harm it would do, but he can sure bark loud.)

ResearchGuy
05-25-2005, 10:33 PM
Don't threaten to write to or write to "consumer protection agencies." An author-publisher relationship is a business-to-business transaction that in many states falls completely outside the "consumer protection" laws, and always falls outside the limited budget and interest of government agencies who focus on "consumer protection."

An author is selling something to someone else for resale to a third person. A consumer is the end purchaser of a product or service. Clear enough?
Alas, a loophole large enough to shove a townhouse through. (Not arguing the point. It is precisely what I have heard from a key elected official, and in any event Jaws is a lawyer who knows the deal.) I wonder how many authors of the sort that do business with PA (or comparable company) really consider themselves as businesses. It appears that there is some confusion about the need for a business license, seller's permit, and so on.

It seems to this layman that there is an issue of perspective here (again: not arguing with Jaws on the law -- this is rumination). While legally it is a business-to-business transaction, from another (and legally irrelevant, unfortunately, apparently) point of view, the PA (or comparable) author is a consumer of book printing services as an amateur (for all practical purposes).

Sad, but it looks like in the real world, there is no way around it: consumer protection laws are not relevant here.

:-/

It still seems like there is a case to be made, somehow, somewhere, regarding deceptive practices and bad faith for those sorts of outfits.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
05-25-2005, 10:35 PM
...I think you should be able to download the copyright forms from the copyright office....
See www.copyright.gov (http://www.copyright.gov) for the whole enchillada--forms, FAQs, law, everything. Also, Nolo Press, www.nolo.com (http://www.nolo.com), publishes a book on copyright complete with forms on CD.

--Ken

Stephanie R
05-25-2005, 10:55 PM
*cough* *choke* Eeeew lawyers, yuck! :pppp

(I'm kidding)

Hey Jaws, I was thinking more in terms of the state's Attorney General's office. They handle this kind of thing, yes? And, you can't tell me there isn't some kind of law out there which says a small business isn't a "consumer"? I hear the term "business consumer" every so often.

If not, that means we are supposed to just take it? Hey Jaws, why don't you represent these people in a law suit against the PODs??? Better yet, why aren't you lobbying for changes to the laws that will better protect us?

I am beginning to think that all PODs are scams. Anyone know anyone who used a POD company who has not been ripped off by them?

scullars
05-25-2005, 10:55 PM
Sorry, for the late answer. Just saw your post. Basically for a couple of months, my Amazon numbers were dipping way below 100,000; I found out that someone had placed my book on an Amazon Recommended list and for the first time, I had the section Those Who Bought Celia Also Bought, so I knew that I had sales (this after nearly a year of non-movement). The numbers dipped to something like 16,500 or similar on at least a few occasions; the number would eventually grow over 100,000 again within the next day or so, then dip again to maybe 80,000 or something. Maybe it was a glitch with Amazon b/c I recently got a link to the royalties page that was set up and it indicates only 6 sales. Anyway, my contract should come to an end in another couple of weeks and I guess the book will be listed as Out-of-Print.


What do you mean by your Amazon numbers? There's no way to get a number of sales on Amazon, only your sales rank. If your sales rank is any higher than 100,000, you're not selling much if anything.

I have had problems with delayed royalty payments, and I have had to pester the publisher repeatedly to receive timely payments. As of last month, I requested to be paid only by PayPal to prevent any "mail delays," and I was paid in a timely manner last month. So far, all of my payments (though delayed) have arrived, and they seem to match up with my sales as best as I can estimate them (based on Amazon sales rank and Ingram's stock numbers). I have been paid over $1,400 in royalties.

I will post again in this thread if the status of my situation changes, but thus far, the only problem I have experienced is poor communication and moderate delays in payments, which seems to have been resolved as of last month.

I think some authors may overestimate thier sales. The problem is that there is no central way to determine this. You can check Ingram stock numbers, but that is not the complete picture. However, if you know a book has been purchased directly from virtualbookworm, and that does not show up in the statement, that would naturally be cause for concern. I have not experienced that problem.

DaveKuzminski
05-25-2005, 11:17 PM
Not arguing the point with Jaws, either, but this should also be given some consideration. If an author has ordered their own books from PA and doesn't receive the order, I would think that places them in the position of a consumer. Of course, even if the law considers them to be a dealer in that situation, I doubt that the same could be said of a relative ordering multiple copies of the author's book since the relative could be wanting those for gifts. Seems to me that might be where some authors should be looking. Find out if any of your relatives have ordered your book. If so and they didn't receive it, then have that relative contact the consumer affairs in Maryland. Also, have the relative contact the appropriate credit card company to file a complaint with them about PA's failure to deliver the product that was ordered.

ResearchGuy
05-25-2005, 11:19 PM
*...I am beginning to think that all PODs are scams. Anyone know anyone who used a POD company who has not been ripped off by them?
They are not. Lulu.com, Booklocker.com, iUniverse, Trafford (maybe a bit pricey, but not actually deceptive, as far as I know) ... Shop around. They are NOT all the same. However, POD books do not get into bookstores other than the occasional one-off brokered by an author, are more expensive than offset press books, are not returnable, have short discounts, typically involve costs up front (costs you would have to cover if you self-published, such as for layout and design, editing, and so on, or that a commercial book publisher pays for as part of its operations for). That is the nature of the business, and for some folks it works. It is a scam only if the company is deceptive or does not deliver as promised. (Is renting a house a scam because you do not end up owning the house? No, it is a choice of how to pay for shelter.) Caveat emptor.

--Ken

Aconite
05-26-2005, 12:58 AM
If not, that means we are supposed to just take it?
No. It means you need to find out what you can do.


Hey Jaws, why don't you represent these people in a law suit against the PODs???
If he's representing them, he couldn't tell you that without his clients' permission.


Better yet, why aren't you lobbying for changes to the laws that will better protect us?
Why aren't you?

Jaws
05-26-2005, 02:21 AM
I do not defend the definitions of "consumer" as some states (but not all) have interpreted them. There's a darned good reason that smart con artists who prey on unsophisticated businesses avoid setting up shop in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and a few other states: In those jurisdictions, a business can be the "consumer" and can claim protection under "consumer protection" laws.

That, however, doesn't help the seller. One problem with consumer protection laws is that they are uniformly intended to protect the buyer. In a commercial publishing arrangement, the author is the seller and the publisher is the buyer. In a vanity publishing arrangement, it's a lot less clear who may claim to be the "buyer" under a given statute, and depends a lot more on the quality of lawyering and specific facts.

Jaws
05-26-2005, 02:27 AM
Hey Jaws, I was thinking more in terms of the state's Attorney General's office. They handle this kind of thing, yes?In theory, yes; in practice, no. AGs have limited budgets, limited resources… and limited expertise in IP matters.

And, you can't tell me there isn't some kind of law out there which says a small business isn't a "consumer"? I hear the term "business consumer" every so often.See my previous entry.

If not, that means we are supposed to just take it? Hey Jaws, why don't you represent these people in a law suit against the PODs???Because no client has come to me and formed an attorney-client relationship resulting in (a) my advice to do so and (b) filing of a matter.
Better yet, why aren't you lobbying for changes to the laws that will better protect us?What makes you think I'm not? Not all lobbying is done by denizens of Gucci Gulch (K Street in DC, which is basically "paid lobbyist central"). Because some of my nonlitigative communications are on behalf of individuals and organizations that are also my clients, I can't discuss those communications. Yeah, I know that "legal ethics" is up there with "military intelligence" as an oxymoron… wait a minute—I was in military intelligence… In any event, before that behind-schedule Amtrak train of thought got derailed, it was headed for "Required No Comment" station.

Stephanie R
05-26-2005, 03:06 AM
Don't get me wrong, my beef is NOT with Jaws. I am just frustrated to hear about people having to spend months trying to action taken or even just get information. I love picking on lawyers, by the way. It's my hobby. But certainly no real offense intended.

Regarding your practice and lobbying, I am sure you do great in both, I was just saying "Hey Superman, go rescue us" because in order to have a voice in this world, you have to be a lawyer. No offense against you personally.

Still not sure about the consumer stuff, and I can't keep up with the whole who's on first, who's on second to figure out definitions. Author contracts with publisher (or rather printer) for his services. Publisher/printer fails to do what was agreed. Breach of contract, yes? If so, threaten that too. Check the legal message boards out there and ask if there is a law in your state that protects you in some capacity and if there is an agency that can help.

The AG's office in whatever state the POD is in may take some type of action if they have the budget, yes? Well, I would send something there. Couldn't hurt. I would also let the POD people know if they don't fix the problems within somanydays time, then I am going to take action. That is all I am saying -- let the POD know you will take action with whomever you can find. Threatening the IRS could also be helpful if there is money heading to his company but not heading out the way it should.

Jaws, love your name by the way!

DaveKuzminski
05-26-2005, 03:54 AM
Hmmm, it just occurred to me that we may have forgotten one office to contact about PublishAmerica. That's the Attorney General for the US. He might be interested in a scam that's fleecing citizens in just about every state and harming the nation's reputation by harming citizens in other countries. I think it's time to send him a polite letter with all the facts in each of your cases.

I thought I was posting in the Neverending topic. If a mod wants to move this, be my guest. ;)

Richard White
05-26-2005, 06:38 AM
Yeah, I know that "legal ethics" is up there with "military intelligence" as an oxymoron… wait a minute—I was in military intelligence…

Jaws, sorry to go OT here, but since you don't have PM capability, I'll have to ask here. . .

MI? What branch of service? What speciality? What rank?

I was an Signals Analyst for 15.5 years with the Army (98C) before getting out. Just curious . . .

(We now return you to your current discussion already in progress . . . )

Aconite
05-26-2005, 04:49 PM
I was just saying "Hey Superman, go rescue us" because in order to have a voice in this world, you have to be a lawyer.
No, you don't. That kind of thinking keeps you from raising your voice, which keeps you powerless. If you want to be heard, you have to speak up.

Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, and Dave Kuzminski aren't lawyers, just to give three examples of effective scambusters in the publishing world. Look around, and you'll see many more examples of non-lawyers who are making a difference. So don't wait on someone else to rescue you. Raise your voice.

vbworm
05-27-2005, 11:35 PM
I am Bobby Bernshausen, the founder of Virtualbookworm.com, which originated in 2000. Over the five years, we have served close to 800 authors. And, during that time, we’ve personally had 10 major complaints brought to us directly. Yes, there are some authors who may choose to take their complaints elsewhere, such as a forum, but when they are brought to us we do everything we can to make it right.

At first I wasn’t going to respond to the complaints on this or any board. But now it’s getting to the point where I must explain “our side” of the stories. First I would like to point out that we have never heard a complaint about the quality of our books, our designs, etc. (in which we take immense pride). Everything has been royalties. Part of this is due to a bad decision I made in 2000 to pay monthly rather than quarterly. Everything worked fine until the distributor and outside sources stopped paying monthly and moved their payments until 90 days after the close of a period. That’s when the complaints began, even though we tried our best to explain the new system.


For instance, our May 2005 check was for all direct Virtualbookworm sales made from April 16, 2005 until May 15, 2005, but all outside sales made in January (the period ends Feb 1, so 90 days later brings us to May). This made our old online database defunct, although we continued to email quarterly reports. Unfortunately, some authors move or change their email address and don’t always inform us. And we don’t hear from those authors until they contact us, which is usually when they haven’t received an expected report or check. We tried a number of database alternatives, and on May 15 began sending authors their passwords and login info for our new contact database and royalty download center (we are now uploading monthly reports and the author can log in and download them at their convenience). While we are still working out the bugs, we are confident this will solve most problems.


Whenever an author has questioned a royalty report or check, we have done everything to find the error. Normally, it can easily be found. Unfortunately, some of the things we have noticed include: 1.) authors expecting the book to sell better than it did; 2.) people telling them they bought the book, but not telling them they ordered it through Amazon (which takes longer to hit the report); 3.) people telling them they purchased the book when they didn’t; 4.) people purchasing used copies of the book online through sources such as Amazon; 5.) authors not understanding the 90-day delay; and/or 6.) authors expecting checks on the 16th of the month, even though that’s the day they are cut. We have solved timing issues by offering direct PayPal payments, although few authors have chosen this option.

As far as the “lawsuit” that was mentioned, it was never filed because it didn’t have any merit. The author had a very promising book that we printed at no charge to her. That’s right, we waived the setup fee and even had 1,000 copies printed offset at our expense. We set up an expensive press conference that had national interest. We received a few nibbles, but nothing major. We also placed ads at our own expense (including RTIR). When the sales weren’t what the author expected, she told us she had written on her contract that she wanted monthly, rather than quarterly, reports. When we began sending her monthly reports, she claimed breach of contract and canceled her contract (because our contract gives all authors the opportunity to cancel with a 90-day written notice).

One authors who posted here failed to mention that her book was also setup free of any charges because we thought it had great potential. We even accepted returns for her title (and this was before we began offering the $500 signup in the returns program; we didn’t charge her a dime.) Obviously, returned books did count against her royalties (whereas our new program does not).

Now, due to the posts on the bulletin boards, Victoria Strauss has placed us on her “beware” list. Ms. Strauss does a wonderful job of warning authors of scams and rip-offs, and I thank her for her service and dedication. But there were nothing but verbal complaints in our case. We are working with every author who contacts us to find and repair the source of their problems. And we have always kept our set-up fees low and royalties high (50% of net receipts) to make sure authors truly benefit by publishing through us.

I started Virtualbookworm to help authors find a publishing venue other than “traditional” houses and the true vanity presses (the ones costing $25,000-$50,000). We obviously don’t make much off setup fees (what we do make pays the staff) and only truly make a profit when a book sells. That’s why we screen our manuscripts and try to accept books that have a good market (and not just titles that will sell to friends and relatives).

I know this post will probably bring flames and I refuse to get into a verbal war. So please, if you have a complaint against us, please contact us so we can get it resolved.

mrs75
05-27-2005, 11:58 PM
Me again, I said I'd keep you all up-to-date on my issues that I am trying to work out with Bobby at Virtual Bookworm (VBW). Here's another update:

Today, May 27, 2005, I received another email from Bobby. In this email Bobby did email me, in PDF format, the copyright registration papers I needed to copyright my book. He did promise to keep the contract and pay for the registration, and I mentioned to him that I need the $30 it calls for (a filing fee), and it also states to mail 2 copies of the book, I told him since they promised to take care of all that I needed those too. I am awaiting a response. I did tell him that I didn't care to pay for the postage to mail the forms and books to the copyright office, but I did need for him to keep his word, and his contract on paying for the copyright. I will let you know if he keeps that part of his word and contract. But as for the update, we're halfway there, he did send me the copyright papers.

In regards to my last post, I said the following:

I did contact the copyright office and it was never registered by VBW, and when I told Bobby about this he admited - finally, that it was never registered.

Bobby brought it to my attention in his email to me today that he did not say he never sent it, he said he said it sent it but due to the 911 tragedy the copyright office may have not gotten it. I did go back and read our emails, and he was right, my mistake, he did not say he never registered it. This is what he said to me (word for word, and I quote it):


We checked and you are correct; they never posted the copyright. We no longer file copyrights (and now send a kit for authors to complete themselves) due to this very problem. After 9-11, they got extremely behind in mail and, from my understanding, some packages were never opened if they weren't sent FedEx. Unfortunately, we had sent so many packages and there was such a delay, we didn't know whose had been accepted by them and whose had not. We do have checks and most of them were cashed but, unfortunately, we didn't write the book names on the memos of the checks so we couldn't match them all. However we did our best and thought we had caught them all. I will be more than happy to send you the copyright forms so you can send in the registration and have the official forms returned directly to you and we will pay for the registration.

I wanted to clear that up because that was my mistake.

Regarding my unpaid royalties that I mentioned, Bobby did tell me in his email today that he would send out a check for those. I will be waiting for that check, and will let you all know if I receive it.

Those are the updates, and I will continue to keep you all updated on the process. Now, I would like to ask a question to Jaws. This is also a question that many of you may have or have wondered about too. My question is this,
do emails hold up in court? I save all emails between myself and Virtual Bookworm, but what I wonder is will they hold up in court?

Email seems to be the only way this publisher and I communicate and that is the reason I save and print them all.

Thanks to everyone for their time. I will keep you updated. Best of luck to everyone!

mrs75
05-28-2005, 01:03 AM
One authors who posted here failed to mention that her book was also setup free of any charges because we thought it had great potential. We even accepted returns for her title (and this was before we began offering the $500 signup in the returns program; we didn’t charge her a dime.) Obviously, returned books did count against her royalties (whereas our new program does not).

Yes, Virtual Bookworm did publish my second book (On the Net Resource Guide for Writers) free. I did not mention that they published the 2'nd book free here because I didn't know if they wanted me to mention that, but since they mentioned it I guess it's okay.

On the Net may have had returns but I did not know that, and now I do. However, the book that I mentioned the sale for from a friend who I signed the book for was for the first book I published with them, and that book is Help From Above. And I stated in one of my other posts here, I know now that the sale for that book will not show on May's statement, but on the next royalty statement. I know this now because that friend did inform me when asked that she bought the book from Amazon. I will watch for my next report, and for that sale. I also stated I was satisfied with May's royalty report after I finally got it.

To clear up any confusion, the copyright I'm speaking of, and still waiting to be completely resolved is also for Help From Above. I paid for publication for this book. Since they published my 2'nd book free it was in our contract that I take care of the copyright for it, and that has been done. The 1'st book (Help From Above) is the one in our other contract that Virtual Bookworm was to take care of as part of the package I paid for, and this is the one I'm having the copyright issue with.

I also would like to mention, even if a publisher publishes a book for free it doesn't mean they should not pay the author's royalties to them. And so far I am satisfied with the way things are going with On the Net Resource Guide for Writers. It is Help From Above that I seem to be having trouble with, and so far Bobby is working with me to resolve these problems, and I am posting the updates here so everyone will know they are being solved at that moment.

He did just get back with me again on the copyright issue, and he stated he would mail my unpaid royalties check, the $30 for the copyright, and the 2 books. I will watch my mailbox for these items, and will let everyone know when I have received them. I've got to also mention that this reply was quick :Clap:

You can all see from my update posts that Bobby is working with me on these issues, and I thank him for that. I will continue to post until everything is resolved so that everyone will know things are resolved. But I hate the fact that it took me to post here in order to get a response, but it worked and I'm thankful for that.

If you are having some issues with VBW it may not be a bad time to contact Bobby personally and see if he can work to help you too. He is now starting to respond quicker, and hopefully that will continue.

Until my next update, God bless you and yours. Keep writing!

mrs75
06-07-2005, 08:14 AM
Another update, today I received the check for the unpaid royalties that I notified VBW about and Bobby said he'd send out a check for those. Bobby also told me he'd mail me the $30 for the copyright registration of my 1'st book that they promised to pay for, and he also promised to mail me out 2 copies of the book which is also a part of the copyright registration process. I received the $30 for the copyright registration today too. Now I'm just waiting on the 2 books which he says he had shipped via UPS. The check I got was sent to me via Priority Mail and that is why they arrived sooner. I will let you know when I get the books.

So far Bobby, at VBW, has kept his every word to me, and I thank him for that.

mrs75
06-10-2005, 12:04 PM
I received the 2 books that Bobby told me he'd send to complete the copyright registration. This will be my last update on Virtual Bookworm since Bobby assisted me and solved all the issues I had with them. I will continue to watch and monitor my book sales with Virtual Bookworm though.

I hope anyone else here who had problems with them were able to contact Bobby as well and get them resolved.

Bobby, if you're still reading the posts here I thank you for your help, and for keeping your word to me.

Lance_in_Shanghai
10-03-2006, 04:22 PM
mrs75, It seems to me you will eat up your 47 dollars royalty in registered letter postage and such trying to light a fire under this one horse operation. Can't you just buy a few books at author's cost and sell those to your friends? That would make your royalty payments jump right into your hands. No delay, no headaches. You have made us all aware of the pitfalls in dealing with POD publishers. As the Chinese are wont to say, there are two side to every coin. We are struggling writers who may be turned away at the doors of most conventional publishers. When we end up at the doors of POD publishers, we grumble at their opportunism and shoddy practices. What I want to find is a POD publisher who pays on time, follows through on all contractual agreements, takes returns at 100 percent of invoice price, promotes my book like my own mother, inserts color pictures on a per page cost basis, offers more than three sizes of format and sends a copy of the book to Oprah. Does anyone know the name of that POD publisher?

James D. Macdonald
10-03-2006, 07:23 PM
Does anyone know the name of that POD publisher?

Yeah. They're called "Random House." (Or any of the other major publishers.) They all used digital printing for things like ARCs and bound galleys.

For the rest: the POD business model is incompatible with bookstore shelving, and digitial printing has no economies of scale. Some real publishers use POD to keep their deep backlist books available. For the rest ... unless you're in very special circumstances and know enough about publishing to know whether you're in those circumstances, stay well clear of PODs. Any one of them may not be a scam, but they're almost certainly a bad idea.

CaoPaux
10-05-2007, 10:42 PM
Updating link: http://virtualbookworm.com/

Elisabeth Bruce
04-29-2010, 11:59 AM
I'd like to know if there are any updates on VBW, good or bad. We're looking for a reasonably priced POD with links to the usual USA booksellers/online markets with distibution to the UK.

The cost of shipping from Australia is too high for our customers from the USA and UK. We think it may be more cost effective to print with a POD using our own imprint and ISBN. We have our ABN (Australian Business Number) and can register our copyright here for the overseas market.

I liked their approach to prospective customers in their online site. I have looked at Lulu, which I was considering last year, but they seem to be chasing the money now. I did like Booksurge, but they've rolled over now to CreateSpace.

Our books are not applicable to the Commercial Publisher route; Australian poetry and soft vignettes about people. We did try the other way, we just don't fit the mould.

rsullivan9597
04-29-2010, 02:56 PM
I am beginning to think that all PODs are scams. Anyone know anyone who used a POD company who has not been ripped off by them?

I don't think any of the POD's (iUniverse, booklocker, Xlibris) are scams...They are however TERRIBLE business models for the authors (great for them though). PublishAmerica of course is an actual "scam" but the others mentioned state VERY clearly what they will do, what your costs are, and if you go to them there should be no suprises - and generally are not -- Not going to comment on Virtual BookWork as they seem to be less professional then the standard "big boys".

The problem I have...If you go with a "traditional publisher" where money flows to you - then you should get a royalty (i.e. small % of the profit) as they are investing time, energy, and money. However...if you are assuming their role -- i.e. putting up money, doing editing, cover design, layout etc - then you should get 100% of the profit not just a %. Oh and if you are using their "services" for layout and cover design you're paying way more than you have to.

For anyone thinking of POD self-publishing I would highly recommend cutting out these middlemen (booklocker, lulu, Xlibris) and go directly through CreateSpace or LightningSource (I prefer CreateSpace) -- They use them afterall - so no change in quality.

Yes, you have to give them "print ready files" - but a simple ad on Craig's list will find you a college artist who will do layout/cover design for a few hundred dollars (less than the "others" setup fee who are only giving you a % and MOST IMPORTANTLY -- you can control the price of your book.

Bottom line a $39 setup fee from CreateSpace a $150 fee for booklayout, a cover (for free in many times if the "student" designer only wants "credit") is a much less expensive route to go and you'll receive 100% of the profits. In this model - POD makes a ton of sense as your investment is low and your profit potential is high.

Now, I'm sure someone will point out that going this route won't get you in the stores, and a book on Amazon doesn't = sales. And to that I agree 100%. But the POD's will also get you none of that so going it "on your own" doesn't change that part of the equation. Bottom line...if you "self publish" then you'll also have to "self promote" but that is true of most successful author's regardless of who actually produces the bound book.

rsullivan9597
04-29-2010, 03:05 PM
I'd like to know if there are any updates on VBW, good or bad. We're looking for a reasonably priced POD with links to the usual USA booksellers/online markets with distibution to the UK.

I would HIGHLY recommend going directly to CreateSpace directly - use their "pro plan" $39 setup fee and use your existing layouts. That should be the only cost to you - don't buy any of their "plans" as you'll not need it.

Elisabeth Bruce
04-30-2010, 03:25 AM
I would HIGHLY recommend going directly to CreateSpace directly - use their "pro plan" $39 setup fee and use your existing layouts. That should be the only cost to you - don't buy any of their "plans" as you'll not need it.

Thank you! I'll check out the 'pro plan' at Createspace. I think I've been reading the wrong plans over there.

Regards,

Elisabeth

Unimportant
04-30-2010, 03:52 AM
Elisabeth, can't you go directly to Lightning Source?

rsullivan9597
05-01-2010, 02:25 AM
Elisabeth, can't you go directly to Lightning Source?

Between CreateSpace and lightning Source I like Create Space. Because:

Printing Fee:
CreateSpace = $0.012*page + .85
LighthningSource = $0.013*page + .90

Price when buying books direct:
CreateSpace = $0.12*page + .85
LightningSource = $0.015*page + .90

Setup fee:
CreateSpace: $39
Lightningsource: $75

Amazon Distribution fee
CreateSpace: 40%
LightningSource:55%

The only downside is CreateSpace's Ingram (bookstore) rate is 60% where Lightningsource is 55% but with the increased print cost CreateSpace still works out depending on page count.

jairey
05-01-2010, 04:56 PM
Actually, you can use Createspace with no "setup fee." Although that drops your royalties quite a bit. The $39 is to get the "expanded distribution" channel -- which is the way to get at least considered by the bricks and mortar stores. You don't have to choose it. Books-A-Million will consider books that they can get thru certain channels, it's on their website about how to do it. ("For Publishers" -- following from the site:)

Submitting a title for consideration
At this time, we only feature titles carried by one of our distributors. They are:

American Wholesale Book Company (205) 956-4151
Ingram Book Company (800) 937-8000
Baker & Taylor (800) 775-1100
If your titles are carried by one of these distributors, please feel free to send or email the information to the attention of:
Director of Merchandising
Booksamillion.com
P.O. Box 19728
Birmingham, AL 35219
marketing@booksamillion.com (marketing@booksamillion.com)
If you go through that process a local store manager can order in your book(s). Here in FL the local managers really like getting "regional" interest books, especially during season.

Unimportant
05-02-2010, 12:11 AM
Thanks for that, rsullivan.

Do they get listed in the same databases, and are they available through the same channels? I know LSI books get listed and are available through (not in! through!) any bookstore; is the same true for CreateSpace?

I personally boycott Amazon so won't work with them or their subsids, but that's just me.

rsullivan9597
05-23-2010, 01:48 AM
Actually, you can use Createspace with no "setup fee." Although that drops your royalties quite a bit. The $39 is to get the "expanded distribution" channel

Jairey is absolutely correct that you can use Createspace and have no setup fee but I don't even consider that an option as I can think of no situation where anyone would want to do this.

The reason...The change in price of your book is dramatically different between the PRO ($39) and Standard (No Setup Fee). Take a book of 300 pages. Under pro this would cost: $4.45 per book for printing. Under Standard Plan this same book would cost $7.75 which when you take into account distribution fees of 40-55% you can't really set the price of your book at a reasonable amount. And you would make up the $39 setup fee if you sold just 12 books.

As she stated it also gets you the option of the expanded distribution but to me the bigger question is the print cost as this will ultimately effect the price of the book itself which to me is the more important issue.

rsullivan9597
05-23-2010, 01:58 AM
Thanks for that, rsullivan.

Do they get listed in the same databases, and are they available through the same channels? I know LSI books get listed and are available through (not in! through!) any bookstore; is the same true for CreateSpace?

I personally boycott Amazon so won't work with them or their subsids, but that's just me.

Great question and important to know the issues here. The powerful thing about LSI is you are in the Ingram Channel. A very power 800 lb gorillia that every bookstore knows and uses. And also Baker and Taylor which is the biggest distributor for libraries. But for instance it doesn't get you into Borders - not sure why - but so far my titles through LSI have never shown up in that market.

CreateSpace distribution allows resellers to buy through their wholesale website. Since Amazon is a 800lb gorillia itself I suspect that many bookstores will buy through this "if the price is right" but it is fairly new so I'm not sure if it has a heavily adopted channel yet - but I'm sure it will be.

All that being said. Bottom line to me is $'s in my pocket and I can say this. I've put some of the Ridan titles through both LSI and CreateSpace (LSI for Ingram/B&T and CreateSpace to get 15% improvement on distribution fees (40% instead of 55%). And other titles through just CreateSpace. I'm seeing sales in both channels and while I've sold more from LSI than CreateSpace once I factor in the setup fees I've actually made more with CreateSpace.

So.....where does that leave things? A bit up in the air - I don't have enough data to say whether it is better to do LSI & CS or just CS + Expanded distribution. I'll be watching the sales over the next several months and will be able to give you more data as it comes in.

The real issue is since you won't physically be in many stores either way - you probably won't get many sales this way. The important thing to try to do is to have highest availability at the lowest cost. If you are care a great deal about bookstore availability (regardless of cost) than I would suggest LSI and just chalk up the $115 setup as a cost of getting into that channel - as the Ingram/B&T database has IMHO more weight than the Amazon Wholesaler - at least at this point in time.

nkkingston
05-23-2010, 07:33 PM
But for instance it doesn't get you into Borders - not sure why - but so far my titles through LSI have never shown up in that market.

Because there's thousands, if not more, books in every Ingrams catalogue. Bookshops can't order all of them, so they rely on promotional teams from publiushers to come and pitch their books. That's why big publishers get placement, and small ones don't. Plus, there's the whole issue of returns - many chains won't order books they can't return, which you usually can't for POD.

rsullivan9597
05-24-2010, 03:24 AM
Because there's thousands, if not more, books in every Ingrams catalogue. Bookshops can't order all of them, so they rely on promotional teams from publiushers to come and pitch their books. That's why big publishers get placement, and small ones don't. Plus, there's the whole issue of returns - many chains won't order books they can't return, which you usually can't for POD.

I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure the "sales" teams work for the distributors not the publishers. I'm not aware of any pubilshers selling to bookstores - I think they leave that to the distributors - but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

What big publishers usually do in the way of getting bookstore presence is pay for shelf space and premium placement. This is the main barrier to entry for small publishers verses large ones.

When we had BookMasters as a distributor they had a catalog and a sales team that sold into stores and libraries. But...they really don't sell 'book per book' they are really just pushing their whole cataloge - at least as far as I could tell.