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AuthorHouse / WordClay / Words of Belief / Author Solutions, Inc.

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Mind Blowing

That Supposed- List

I think many POD authors are hip to those kinds of lists now-a-days. It may have worked when the authors didn't know about the games some POD publishers run, but now they know and they aren't falling for it anymore. Many companies " claim " to get their authors reviews and in book stores, but unless the author takes this on extremely, it doesn't happen. Once the printing process is over, that's the extent of the company's involvement because they've already gotten what they need. They're not there to sell books but get money and unfortunately they get it from their own authors. POD authors may get reviews now and then, but they are not by magazines and journals of real merit. Big time magazines and journals will not touch a POD book with a ten-foot pole and bookstores won't grant a booksigning, even if the book is selling well. I don't know why companies and " people " run this game of writing lists of what certain authors have done. If the company hasn't helped all of their authors, it doesn't matter! The problem is that a lot of POD companies are ripping off authors' money and their pride and it's shameful. Most give empty promises and 100x below that in return. To people who like POD, I wish you well and much success. But it's been my experience of talking to many POD authors that you're the minority who've actually felt helped from companies such as 1st Books Library.

Mind Blowing

That Post was a Response to the first page

So there's no confusion, my reply was in response to that person on the first page of the thread that wrote the " supposed " list of how well 1st Books books have done with reviews.


Re: 1stBooks Library-POD

From the responses I've seen so far about 1st Books and PODs in general, I'd venture to say that most of you have never been published by a "real" publisher and can't make a comparison.

I doubt if I'll ever go back to a publisher again. I'm doing the same thing now with a POD as I did with a publisher...market the book myself, arrange book signings, contact the local press for interviews, set up a website to promote my books and become a walking salesman, promoting me and my book. With POD I also don't have to deal with remainders or wait for my royalty checks of about $.75 a book. Bought from their site, I make $3.10 per book copy and $1.25 if it's sold on Amazon. 1st Books also puts a downloadable PDF file of your book on their website and gives you 100% of the first $300 in sales, then a 60/40 cut, the 60% going to them. If you have a book that has worldwide appeal, this is the way to reach customers who would never pay shipping costs that equal or surpass the cover price.

With a publisher, don't expect much help in marketing your book because you won't get it. After the distributor gets his cut and then the publisher gets his, the next time you want to publish, you'll more than likely consider POD.

As for the quality of my 1st Books cover? I couldn't be more pleased. I pitched them an idea and was very happy with what they put together.

As for quality control problems, you receive a copy of their press release from 1st Books before it goes out. If there's a problem, let them know. Nothing goes out without the author's approval. They also have nothing to do with the editing of the book; that's your department. Formatting problems sometimes do come up because of the word processing program you use and they will correct these problems at no cost. Anything else is your fault but 1st Books gives you a lot of leeway before they start charging for mistakes that you made and didn't correct, and once again, you make the final approval before the book goes to press.

Go to http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/16343 for a look. A month ago, the book was ranked 1.8 million in sales on Amazon. Today it's at 89,500 and the press releases haven't even gone out yet and I haven't contacted the same bookstores I used before for signings nor have I yet contacted reporters who have written about me and my books. Once I get my ducks in order, sales can only get better.

All to often, when sales are slow or have slumped, writers look to blame everyone but themselves. Books don't sell themselves, authors do. If you can't see yourself as a 24-hour-a-day salesperson or can't imagine standing in front of a roomful of people trying to look at ease, sounding witty and being as informative as hell, the "real" publisher versus a POD argument is a red herring.

Mind Blowing

Writers' Fault or How People Should Be Treated?

I've never used a POD company, but have been approached by some. My book is coming out with a traditional company who works hard to promote. I have a good standing with my publisher and we talk one on one. He runs his business like his beliefs which means he cares to help his authors anyway he can and he shuts out the middle man. Not too many publishers are willing to speak to the author one on one. What can I say, I've been blessed to find someone so compassionate in such a hard world.

About the comment writers need to blame themselves, I agree with that about SOME writers. Some writers can't write and don't do all the necessary things to make sure their books are at the highest level they can be. Some sit around on their butts and whine, of course. There are people like this everywhere. I believe the people on this thread were speaking of hardworking writers who don't get the treatment they deserve. Most of the writers here aren't complaining about promotion, but of being treated TERRIBLY by a company they've paid for. I know tons of authors who have had trouble with POD companies like this one and they have worked hard. I am talking about authors who even have recognition in their field and they still don't get the help they deserve.

The bottom line is, a company is getting paid and they should make sure they do all they can to help their clients. Granted, traditional publishing isn't perfect but let's be real. If someone expects to stay in the world of writing as long as they can, traditional is the only valued option because so many avenues are opened to a traditional or small press published author. I believe POD should be avoided at all costs because it mostly ends in heartache. I can't tell you how many HARD WORKING authors are pissed off because their efforts are wasted. Some spend as much as 6000 dollars on promotion and walk around until their feet bleed trying to get into bookstores, so it's not always an author's fault.

Any career has slackers, but in defense of the hard working POD authors ( ones I have spoken to ), they deserve better treatment. Especially if you are paying someone and they don't come up with the goods. POD companies are to blame too when they LIE and lead authors on. I won't mention names but there are tons of POD companies that have even gone far as to alter their contracts where authors will have to pay to keep their books in online bookstores. Why do that to authors when POD companies claim the reason you should go with them is because they can " keep your book in print "? Others have tried to stop their authors from promoting when it cuts into their realm of how they handle things. Others have treated writers like dirt and refused to help them when they needed it. Some have gone as far as to drop an author's book if the author disagrees with one little thing about the company. All in all it's how people SHOULD treat other people. Writers are human beings and we deserve to be treated with respect. It's our writings that help the companies, not the other way around. Just because POD authors complain, it doesn't ALWAYS mean they didn't try. To tell you the truth they try harder than a lot of traditionally published writers. Maybe that's why they are getting so fed up. It's not easy to put work and money into a project than have no back-up from the company.

It's just about professionals treating professionals the way they deserve. That's something that should be understood whether the author is traditionally published or POD published. On another note, POD authors who get help from their company get this extra help because they've written a book the company wants to glorify more than others. POD companies pick and choose the same as traditional companies. It's not an author's fault if a book they wrote is not what the publisher planned to promote. Bottom line is, fair is fair, and most POD practices are not.


Regarding 1st Books

After reading the comments, I was compelled to write this. Why is it that some books are doing very well from the company 1st books, ex: "SPIRITUAL MARKETING", "LITTLE GUIDE TO HAPPINESS', "HE NEVER CALLED AGAIN", and others seem to go nowhere. Does anyone know the answer?


Re: Regarding 1st Books

In general terms, if you knew the answer to that question, you could make a fortune in the book business (hell, in Hollywood, too). :)

For 1st Books in general, it's because the better selling authors have larger families.


answer to questions about 1st books

Because some books are more interestting than others..some are exciting, reader friends. For example, Legally Blonde, this book started with 1st Books and look where it is today.


found my first 1st book

I found a copy of a 1stbook printed text in a borders. Yes, a borders. There were probably about eight or nine copies.

They were had a big 50% off sticker and they were on the bargains table, where they were getting rid of outdated computer tutuorials and reference guides.


My experience with 1stbooks

Hello to all,
This post is for those who are considering going with 1stbooks or using POD in general. When I finished my book I researched all the big POD companies before choosing to go with 1stbooks. My book will be out hopefully in the next few months and so far so good with this company. Any questions? send me an e-mail [email protected]



PODs in Borders


Borders in Reno, Nev has quite a selection of POD books, most in their local authors section. 1st Books, iUniverse, Publish America and Xlibris are all represented. Also in their horror section is a Vantage Press novel (subsidy publisher not POD). I have seen several iUniverse titles on the display table at Borders. Strange--two blocks down is Barnes and Noble--and I've yet to see an iUniverse there...even though they have part ownership in the company. Borders seems pretty succeptable to carrying POD and vanity press publications. Apparently they look at each book individually and make the decision, rather than just taking a blank refusal approach. There are also a number of POD novels in my hometown public library, many are not by local authors, but books picked up by the library from various reference sources. It has been said that because PODs do not contain CIPs libraries will not carry them...not so according to our library.


AuthorHouse / 1st Books Library / Wordclay

I am a new book author. My book has been listed on amazon and other websites as a 'top seller' and 'best seller' many times since this past January 2003 to the present.

I also notice that my amazon sales ranking has gone from something like 500,000,000 to a ranking of around 200,000 and the e-version now has a ranking of around 2000, which means that amazon is selling thousands / millions of copies of my books since january 2003... according to their online explanation of sales rankings.

Here is my problem though.... the publisher that I paid is claiming that my book only sold 7 copies total since january 2003 !!!!

They also will not provide any sales statements to me and claim they were mailed to me each time I plead with them to make this matter right and just pay me the money they owe me for my book sales.

I have not received any sales statements but I did finally receive a measly check for 7 book sales after I pleaded with them on the phone (long-distance) for over 3 months.

They keep transferring me to one rep after another, then to the 'manager'. The manager said he would email me what ever info he finds out, then never emails me nor takes my phone calls, nor returns my phone calls.

I have tried to talk with amazon and the other book stores that are selling my book but no one will answer my questions about this.

What can I do? I am so frustrated that no one will answer me, no one will take my phone calls, it is just so so frustrating...

Is it possible that the websites like amazon are falsely claiming my book to be a 'top seller' ?????

Who / What should I be speaking with to get help with this issue?

James D Macdonald

What publisher?

The publisher that you paid?

What's the title of your book? Who published it?

<a href="http://www.greententacles.com/articles/2/18" target="_new">Here's an article</a> on what Amazon numbers mean. You should be aware that it's a little out of date -- these days the absolute bottom Amazon numbers are in the 2.5 million range (one book sold, ever).

The Amazon ranks appear to be separate among hardcovers, soft covers, and electronic versions. Electronic books sell very poorly indeed, so poorly that BN.com has dropped them entirerly.

When and where did Amazon list your book as a "top seller"? Books with Amazon sales ranks orders of magnitude better than 200,000 are selling less than one a day.


re: amazon sales ranking

my electronic version claims to have a very good sales ranking on amazon with a 2000. the hardcover has a ranking of just over 1 million as of about an hour ago.

Amazon has listed my book as a top seller on many occasions this year, and I do have copies of those web files from amazon.com website, from each day that they listed my book as a top seller with the url, date, etc.... I also have copies of many other websites from other book stores when they claim that my book is a best seller or top seller.

I just really need to find a person or group that can investigate this and help me to get the money that is owed to me for my book sales before I go posting their name all over the internet. ---- especially if I were to find out that book stores online falsely post that a book is a best seller when it isnt.

it is way past my nap time so please excuse any misspellings ;)

James D Macdonald

Amazon Ranking

An Amazon ranking in the 2.5 million range means that one person bought a copy of the book. An Amazon rating in the 1.5 million range means that four or five bought it.

It sounds like the publisher is honestly reporting seven sales.

I'd very much like to see these "top seller" claims.

The remark about paying your publisher makes me suspect that you went the vanity PoD route. I don't recommend that to anyone.


Re: Amazon Ranking

This is my ranking. When the warehouse orders a copy in two geographic locations over the year, that's enough to jump 1 Million places.

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,521,298

As for the vanity POD, the ones I used years ago before I knew better send a statement, and have one online at the "publisher's" website. I don't know who the gentleman paid, but it seems he doesn't understand the numbers. 7 would be "brisk" in this venue.

XThe NavigatorX


what's your book's title?

Give us your ISBN, and I can tell you exactly how much it has sold through Ingrams.

If it's only being sold online, and your sales rank on Amazon is in the 200,000 range, that suggests about 7-10 sales through them total. If the e version sales ranking is in the 2,000 range, that suggests about 2-3 e sales total.

If you were selling 'thousands' of copies, your amazon sales rank (not the e book ranking) would be in the top 2,000.


re: ranking

ok, here is my exact amazon ranking as of 2 seconds ago...

plus their are many other book stores that have been selling my book online from all over the world, then they claim to be out of stock, then they are selling my book again.... I do have copies of the webfiles with dates, etc making these claims of sales too....

so, I can go to Ingrams.com and find out how many copies sold that way too?

Who does one go to, to investigate this? I am not going to announce this publisher on the internet while I am trying to find out what is going on. It may be something weird like falsely claiming that a book is a top seller, but I doubt it


Re: re: ranking

Warrior you're not grasping the concept here. You've not had a best selling anything. And without telling us the number or title, well what can we do. You've sold 7 copies. That's correct.

XThe NavigatorX

Re: re: ranking

All those stores that say your book is "in stock" really mean it's in stock at Ingrams' warehouse. If someone buys a copy at Blackwells, it'll suddenly go 'out of stock' at textbook-x. That's the nature of POD.

Just tell us the name of your book. I've never met an author so intent on not promoting his own book.

James D Macdonald

Re: re: ranking

Call Ingram's at (615) 213-6803. Have your ISBN handy.

They'll tell you how many sold (via Ingram's) in the past week, in the past year, and last year. They'll also tell you how many are in stock, how many have been backordered, and where they're warehoused.

Ingram's isn't the only path from a publisher to a reader, but it's one of the major ones.

Look, would you email me your ISBN? I promise not to tell anyone.


Thank You James :)

Thanks James !

To those of you that are so frustrated that I will not announce the publisher nor the book title on this public board, lighten up, geesh ;) I did not come to this board to promote my book on this board, I just came here to learn.

This board says it is a place to learn about possible scams, who/what to beware of, how to protect yourself, and that is why I am here. If I knew everything I would not come to a board that advertises it is a place to learn how to protect yourself from possible scams.

Like I said I am a very new author and I have no desire to bad-mouth any publisher nor any business. Especially since I am a newbie and do not know the facts without investigating more. I also do not beleive it is an ethical business practice to publicly post any business name with negative comments when I do not even know the facts yet.


Re: Thank You James :)

I think you're making negative assumptions that are false about the company inadvertently. They sound like a legtimate vanity press. You just don't understand the low sales that are completely normal. The conspiracy is yours from what you've told us.


thanks xthenavigatorx

Thanks XTheNavigatorX,
for that info about POD and Ingram, that does explain things better to me now in regards to 'in stock' ads. :)

I will still have to keep digging to find out why all those sites claim my book is top seller and best seller on some days though with such low yearly sales. Maybe it is just some weird marketing tactic

sorry I am not here to promote my book, just learn.



hi marky,
I am a Newbie to this business and I am just trying to get to the truth about how things work in this business. That is all.

I did not come here to publicly post negative statements about any business nor to promote my book here, I am only here to learn about this business.

some things are not making sense to me and this looks like a place for newbies to learn about the business.

It is very odd to see my book listed as a 'top or best seller' so many times this past year, with such low sales claims, and I am just trying to get to the truth.

I am sure any writer here, would investigate and try to find the facts and truth before making assumptions :)

I think my questions in regards to why a book is being advertised as a top or best seller with very low sales rankings is something that is worthy of further investigation.

marky48 writes
I think you're making negative assumptions that are false about the company inadvertently. They sound like a legtimate vanity press. You just don't understand the low sales that are completely normal. The conspiracy is yours from what you've told us.


Re: conspiracy?

We've already told you. It's not a top seller. Call the number and find out. That's the best we can do.

Happy Thanksgiving

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