• Guest please check The Index before starting a thread.

BHC Press / Blue Harvest Creative

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

MLGwynne

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone! (please toss this into the right thread if it's not there already)

Would love to know if anyone has any insight on BHC Press. Their website and book covers look amazing; however, there is little information on those running it.

Quick Pro/Con
- They lay out their detailed marketing and distribution plans and are clear about expenses and royalties; however, they do not list any of the names or accolades of their senior or founding staff (just the interns).
- Their books have won plenty of (somewhat legit) awards and have been reviewed in real trade publications; however, not many (if any) have broken 1M in Amazon rank. That could be due to many factors though.
- In doing some digging, I found a Joni Firestone as an official press contact on numerous book-signing press releases sent out by BHC; however, deeper digging reveals a link to a Vern Firestone (known for running Triad Publishing Group: a company that disappeared--making off with thousands in unpaid author royalties-- and reappeared under a different company name, HIlden Gate Books, which also disappeared).
- They are an active member of the IBPA and claim to meet IBPA's standards for hybrid publishing; however, I can't find enough on Joni or Vern to know if they have tangible experience in the publishing industry. I believe they ran a cover design service called Blue Harvest Creative; but that's all I've got.

So this is just me, one person, digging around. My assessments could be way off base; so someone with deeper knowledge, or perhaps one of the over one hundred authors published by this company, please clear up some of these things. They seem like a pretty promising hybrid, assuming the Vern Firestone of Triad Publishing is not the same Vern Firestone of BHC.


Thanks in advance!
 

frimble3

Heckuva good sport
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
8,901
Reaction score
1,618
Location
west coast, canada
I know nothing, except that 'Vern Firestone' isn't exactly a common name. And, not one that anyone doing research, such as yourself, would choose to use for a publishing company, given the baggage that comes with it.
 

VeryBigBeard

Preparing for winter
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
2,097
Reaction score
696
Hybrid publishing, and also joint publishing, are euphemisms for vanity publishing.

Blue Harvest Creative said:
Under the hybrid publishing model, an author shares in the cost of a book’s production. Because we blend several publishing models, and we also offer traditional contracts, we refer to ourselves as an alternative-hybrid publisher.

It costs $975. You are paying to publish.

Run, run away.
 

MLGwynne

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
It costs $975. You are paying to publish.

Run, run away.

Thanks so much! Authors interested in hybrid publishing should be aware there's a co-payment and only work with hybrid's who meet IBPA's official standards for hybrid publishers.

$975 all inclusive is actually a bit on the lower end for hybrids--especially for what they're offering in marketing. This is another reason I'm super curious to flesh out the enigma that is BHC Press.
 

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,737
Reaction score
1,586
Location
Coastal Desert
Triad's V.P. / PR Director was Joni Shanburn. Color me suspicious.
 

Richard White

Stealthy Plot Bunny Peddler
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
2,993
Reaction score
594
Location
Central Maryland
Website
www.richardcwhite.com
It's vanity publishing, not hybrid. Hybrid refers to authors who self-publish as well as having trade books.

I'm really sorry the IBPA has been suckered by the vanities. It's a complete misnomer.

Why, why, why would you give someone money to print your book (because that's all they're doing) AND then give them a cut of every book they print for you? And what marketing are they doing you couldn't do for yourself?

I can understand working with a small press that's giving you a decent royalty rate (even without an advance), but I simply cannot understand why people insist on violating Yog's Law?

Hybrid publishing = vanity publishing. Period.
 

VeryBigBeard

Preparing for winter
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
2,097
Reaction score
696
$975 is $974.99 too expensive. The other penny you can afford to drop in a fountain somewhere.

There is no legitimacy a fee-paying publisher can confer. No legitimate contests take them. No meaningful review outlets review them, and even if they did, no major bookstore is going to stock them. They have no incentive to sell your work because you've already paid for it, which is probably why they aren't selling well.
 

MLGwynne

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
$975 is $974.99 too expensive. The other penny you can afford to drop in a fountain somewhere.

Hey VeryBigBeard, super sorry if I came off petty in anyway. Trying to keep things super light! :)

Any prospective reader's of the thread, I'm not here to defend or not-defend Hybrid publishing. You can read more on the nuances of the term here at Ingram, and also search here in AW on past threads discussing it. I started this thread in hopes to attract anyone who knows more specifically about BHC Press so's to shed some insight.

Triad's V.P. / PR Director was Joni Shanburn. Color me suspicious.​


Interesting...hmm....

 

eqb

I write novels
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
4,446
Reaction score
1,224
Location
In the resistance
Website
www.claireodell.com
Hey VeryBigBeard, super sorry if I came off petty in anyway. Trying to keep things super light! :)

VBB said *penny* not petty.,

Any prospective reader's of the thread, I'm not here to defend or not-defend Hybrid publishing.

It's spelled readers, no apostrophe. And when a publisher wants authors to pay money, there isn't any nuance about it. They are vanity publishers. Next question?
 

MLGwynne

Registered
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
VBB said *penny* not petty.,

It's spelled readers, no apostrophe. And when a publisher wants authors to pay money, there isn't any nuance about it. They are vanity publishers. Next question?

Hey eqb, thank you so much for your correction regarding my apostrophe. :) I also wrote "in anyway" which should have been "in any way". So my apologies to anyone who read that and noticed.

Please let me know if I'm breaking any behavioural rules, or if this is simply the wrong forum for the inquiry. I was just here for some insight; I really had no intention of offending anyone or feeling bad myself.
 

cllcl

Jai guru deva om
Registered
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Hey, it can get a little rough in these forums, I know, but never feel bad!

I don't know anything about BHC except that they do a decent job at "appearing" relatively legit.

The problem is that 99% of the time, a vanity publisher is not legit. And I don't know of any proof that hybrid and vanity aren't the same thing.

No one can force anyone not to vanity publish. But kind advice would be: instead of paying someone $975 to use their name, take that money and pay an experienced marketing agency, use your own name and keep 100% of your royalties.

Vanities hope to capitalize before an author is the wider wiser. This is most likely why BHC doesn't associate direct names to the operation. If these Vern and Jodi people were on the all-positives, they'd make themselves public for vetting,
 

Keith1971

Registered
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
Why, why, why would you give someone money to print your book (because that's all they're doing) AND then give them a cut of every book they print for you? And what marketing are they doing you couldn't do for yourself?

Because if I DONT pay the money, my book will never see the light of day. Thats freaking why.
I hear the question "why" all the time and I can answer with a single number:
178. That's how many query letters I sent out.
0
Thats how much success I had.
No takers. No buyers. No interest.
178.
178 emails. 178 letters. 178 synopsis and sample chapters. Earning me nothing.
See, there's a huge ugly truth about this business. That you can do everything right AND STILL LOSE. You can work and write and edit and re-edit, but at the end of your hard labor it is still completely out of your control. All your years and years of effort is completely held hostage by one bored Intern skimming the slush pile, reducing your life to a five second glance followed by "Uh...nah."
Gatekeepers follow their own rules, and you're helpless against them.
So I paid the money.
I paid the money because it gave me control. I paid the money because I GOT MY BOOK. I got my reward for years of labor. I can hold it, read it, squeeze it. Its mine. If I hadnt done it my book wouldnt exist. It would be in cyber death inside my computer, never to be seen, never to be read. That is not acceptable, so screw the money. The money is irrelevant. The money can be earned back, because with book in hand I can now (and have) do the artists alley convention circuit and start getting copies into peoples hands. I start getting word of mouth. And I have earned my money back. All of it. So frankly I had nothing to lose. If I spent $900 to earn $900, that also represents dozens of people reading my book, including reviews on Amazon which was the point all along (And I've earned back a lot more than my initial cost, several times in fact).

There's a lot of rose colored glasses in this business, saying "well if you try hard enough, surely someone somewhere will buy the book."
No they wont. That has NEVER been my experience. I say again, 178. I have talked to agents, researched everything, and it's abundantly obvious that in my genre these publishers and such are SWAMPED. They get hundreds of submissions for only a handful of slots and there just isnt any room for the good guys to win.

So I paid the money, and I'll do it again. Because it gives the power back to ME where it belongs. Because it saves my story from oblivion. I've given lessons on publishing at local cons and I tell the attendees all about this because I don't want their books to die in obscurity either.

As for marketing, thats even more rose colored glasses, a severe overestimation of what the average joe is capable of. I can do social media and such, but full webpages? Magazine ads? Full catalogs? I'm happy that you can do all that, but thats lightyears past my ability level, to say nothing of time investment (better spent writing), and MONEY, money which you were supposed to be saving by not spending the $900. Well, if you're doing it "yourself" then you ARE spending the $900. One way or another you're not saving a thing.

I will hybrid publish proudly. I've tried traditional with nothing to show for it.
Never again. I have my book in hand and its mine forever.
 
Last edited:

lizmonster

Possibly A Mermaid Queen
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
9,212
Reaction score
4,894
Location
Massachusetts
Website
elizabethbonesteel.com
Tom Clancy had 250 rejections for Red October.

Just saying.

Everything a vanity pub can do for you you can do for yourself. Everything.

I'm glad you're pleased with your experience. That's not a great reason to recommend it as a general solution, especially given how many vanity pubs take your money and run.
 

Cephus

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
218
Reaction score
34
There's a huge difference between publication and ego. If all you want is to hold a book in your hands, more power to you, I guess. That's not why I'm writing.
 

desdenova

Registered
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
2
Location
France
Website
alexsgarcia.com
Because if I DONT pay the money, my book will never see the light of day. Thats freaking why.
Or... you could self-publish. It would have cost you a lot less than $900.

I suck at marketing too, but I've been reading a lot about this in the past couple of weeks and there are cheap ways to make it work without it becoming too much of a nightmare. Will likely test this in 2021. Though I still plan to try trad at the same time.

And I won't give up at 178.

Rejection is a part of the game.

Even the biggest names have dealt with hundreds of rejections, as noted above.

Vanity is just... meh.
 

Woollybear

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
5,139
Reaction score
1,455
Location
USA
$900 strikes me as a decent cost if this is truly all expenses included.

Hiring a line editor, I couldn't find one for less than $700. Formatting was 300, and the cover was another chunk of several hundred. There were incidental costs along the way, and I probably paid at least 50 dollars on amazon ads (after publishing) before deciding the ROI doesn't make financial sense.

Personally, I'm on the 'publish in series' SP path with the sci-fi stuff, and the 'keep learning to write better with each project' path. I don't think I'd be happy with handing rights and control over to a press that might potentially fold, and horror stories about this sort of thing abound.

But most of the purely SP authors that I know spend more than $900 to get their book out, although it's possible to do so for much less (foregoing an editor, etc.)

What is great about the writing community, IRL and online, is the crowd-sourcing aspect (for information) and support. To that end, I personally think it would be great to hear more from people who have had good experiences on the hybrid path. I mean, it's hard to imagine that it is a good path, but with 2000 new books on amazon each day, ... knowledge is power and all that.
 
Last edited:

BenPanced

THE BLUEBERRY QUEEN OF HADES
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
17,462
Reaction score
3,679
Location
dunking doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts
I paid the money because it gave me control. I paid the money because I GOT MY BOOK. I got my reward for years of labor. I can hold it, read it, squeeze it. Its mine. If I hadnt done it my book wouldnt exist. It would be in cyber death inside my computer, never to be seen, never to be read. That is not acceptable, so screw the money. The money is irrelevant. The money can be earned back, because with book in hand I can now (and have) do the artists alley convention circuit and start getting copies into peoples hands. I start getting word of mouth. And I have earned my money back. All of it. So frankly I had nothing to lose. If I spent $900 to earn $900, that also represents dozens of people reading my book, including reviews on Amazon which was the point all along (And I've earned back a lot more than my initial cost, several times in fact).

But if you spend $900 and make back $900, you've made $0. No matter how you look at it or want to justify it, that's bad business (and, yes, I read the part where you've made back the initial investment so I'm not dismissing/ignoring that point). Trust me. I know from experience: I spent almost $20,000 on promotion and marketing materials (bookmarks, cover flats, postcards), conferences, and advertising over the course of three years and I sold less than $200 in books. Financially and mentally, I couldn't take that sort of abuse for very much longer so I had to step away from self-publishing. Yeah, sure, I have copies in hand but if that's all I wanted, I certainly could have done it for much, much less. If it's working for you, that's great. It's definitely not for everybody, however.
 

Polenth

Mushroom
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
5,015
Reaction score
724
Location
England
Website
www.polenthblake.com
Because if I DONT pay the money, my book will never see the light of day. Thats freaking why.
I hear the question "why" all the time and I can answer with a single number:
178. That's how many query letters I sent out.
0
Thats how much success I had.
No takers. No buyers. No interest.
178.
178 emails. 178 letters. 178 synopsis and sample chapters. Earning me nothing.
See, there's a huge ugly truth about this business. That you can do everything right AND STILL LOSE. You can work and write and edit and re-edit, but at the end of your hard labor it is still completely out of your control. All your years and years of effort is completely held hostage by one bored Intern skimming the slush pile, reducing your life to a five second glance followed by "Uh...nah."
Gatekeepers follow their own rules, and you're helpless against them.
So I paid the money.
I paid the money because it gave me control. I paid the money because I GOT MY BOOK. I got my reward for years of labor. I can hold it, read it, squeeze it. Its mine. If I hadnt done it my book wouldnt exist. It would be in cyber death inside my computer, never to be seen, never to be read. That is not acceptable, so screw the money. The money is irrelevant. The money can be earned back, because with book in hand I can now (and have) do the artists alley convention circuit and start getting copies into peoples hands. I start getting word of mouth. And I have earned my money back. All of it. So frankly I had nothing to lose. If I spent $900 to earn $900, that also represents dozens of people reading my book, including reviews on Amazon which was the point all along (And I've earned back a lot more than my initial cost, several times in fact).

There's a lot of rose colored glasses in this business, saying "well if you try hard enough, surely someone somewhere will buy the book."
No they wont. That has NEVER been my experience. I say again, 178. I have talked to agents, researched everything, and it's abundantly obvious that in my genre these publishers and such are SWAMPED. They get hundreds of submissions for only a handful of slots and there just isnt any room for the good guys to win.

So I paid the money, and I'll do it again. Because it gives the power back to ME where it belongs. Because it saves my story from oblivion. I've given lessons on publishing at local cons and I tell the attendees all about this because I don't want their books to die in obscurity either.

As for marketing, thats even more rose colored glasses, a severe overestimation of what the average joe is capable of. I can do social media and such, but full webpages? Magazine ads? Full catalogs? I'm happy that you can do all that, but thats lightyears past my ability level, to say nothing of time investment (better spent writing), and MONEY, money which you were supposed to be saving by not spending the $900. Well, if you're doing it "yourself" then you ARE spending the $900. One way or another you're not saving a thing.

I will hybrid publish proudly. I've tried traditional with nothing to show for it.
Never again. I have my book in hand and its mine forever.

Having watched the Triad Publishing Group thing go down, one issue was they were very good at picking writers with followings on MySpace who didn't know much about the industry. Those writers were treated very well. Some were offered contracts where they paid nothing. They were told how special they were. So those authors shouted the praises of the press from the rooftops and persuaded a lot of other people to sign up.

Triad was also very good at keeping their authors isolated. They encouraged their authors to view trade publishers as a terrible evil. Anyone who commented on red flags was just jealous and a dinosaur and all the rest. I knew some of the authors involved and it was very difficult to approach them with the problems, because they didn't want to see it and assumed the worst of anyone who raised problems. Vern was the most wonderful person they had ever met and got their story and their dream was coming true. Even when everything went bad, some were so caught up that they had trouble letting it go, because Vern surely wouldn't hurt them on purpose.

Triad also encouraged their authors not to submit anywhere else, to the point of starting a short fiction magazine (because if someone did sell a short story somewhere else, they're realise Triad's contract was not standard in a bad way and something was wrong). Writers didn't need to send writing anywhere else, because Triad was their family and understood them and wasn't going to reject them like those evil gatekeepers.

It didn't mean it was a golden era. Things were going wrong behind the scenes, but there's pressure not to complain about family in public. It might hurt the community. It might hurt other authors with the publisher. How could an author be so cruel and selfish as to report the issues in public. So the voices saying the editing was poor and the marketing didn't exist were whispering in corners, not posted publicly to warn other authors.

Then the publisher disappeared without a trace, books didn't get published, people lost money and nobody could find Vern Firestone anywhere (there was a brief attempt to rebrand under another name, but it was very brief, and then everything just vanished). It boggles me a bit that he'd come back with the same distinctive name on another company, because of the history.

It's very easy to exploit people who have a dream and don't want to see the cracks. You're not in control here. The vanity publisher is in control and can cut off the money and run at any time. Self-publish if you want to be in control. Then you're the one who uploads the files, gets paid the money, and doesn't have to hope the known thief doesn't steal anything this time around.
 

Keith1971

Registered
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
Or... you could self-publish. It would have cost you a lot less than $900.

I suck at marketing too, but I've been reading a lot about this in the past couple of weeks and there are cheap ways to make it work without it becoming too much of a nightmare. Will likely test this in 2021. Though I still plan to try trad at the same time.

And I won't give up at 178.

Rejection is a part of the game.

Even the biggest names have dealt with hundreds of rejections, as noted above.

Vanity is just... meh.

On the contrary, nothing I researched indicated I could even pick my self-published font for less than $900. That cost bought me a cover (which I couldnt do myself), interior formatting (ditto), interior art and design (ditto). Either I paid a hybrid or I fork it over to someone else, but one way or another money is changing hands. Nothing is free.
(And there is zero chance of buying any competent marketing at that price either.)

178 wasn't picked at random. That was every single literary agent I found in my subject area. I exhausted the list. At some point you just have to acknowledge the inevitable.
I'd run into a lot of dubious 'advice' during that process revealing many people with severe unrealistic expectations: "Oh just send out 7-8 queries and someone will be interested." If the alleged 'experienced' writers I'd run into hadn't been so unrealistic pie-in-the-sky, maybe I could have dug up more names. Maybe if there was ANY guarantee of success...but there isn't. It can be the best story in the world and no one will ever care.
So 178 is 178. The horse is dead. Move on.

I really didn't think the $900 was that big a deal (I actually paid less). I was very happy with the cover art, it being far beyond what I would have gotten from some unknown on Fiver.
The ability to get out of the rut cannot be overestimated. Now that that book is on my shelf I can spend the time where it belongs, writing more books. My first hybrid expense was two novels ago. I've now finished book #3 with #4 being plotted. Every second spent wasted on query letters took away from getting on with the rest of my life. My books weren't going to write themselves.
That was also (at least) 30 author tables ago. Con appearances. B&N Signings. Street Fairs. Those are all necessary foot pounding to meet the people and start making a name for yourself. Thats all hard-boiled experience which you just cant earn without a book in hand to sell. You can't be stuck in a rut hoping for a fairy godmother/publisher to come to your rescue.

My hybrid never said "Traditional is evil" either. I went hybrid after giving Traditional every chance. I have another unpublished book in complete cyber death after trying to go traditional with it, nut I had no response to that either. So what then are we suppose to say about such matters?

"Die honorably?"
"The world needs burger flippers too?"
"Life is just one long broken dream?"

Pick one.
 

Keith1971

Registered
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
Everything a vanity pub can do for you you can do for yourself. Everything.

I could NEVER make my own cover. Again, either I paid a hybrid or I paid a guy on Fiver. So I picked.
I could never do the formatting or art they did. Someone, somewhere was going to get money for providing those services. May as well be someone who already had a webpage and marketing experience.
 

lizmonster

Possibly A Mermaid Queen
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
9,212
Reaction score
4,894
Location
Massachusetts
Website
elizabethbonesteel.com
Look, I'm glad a vanity press worked for you. For most people, it does not. The press has no motivation to see that you make money. I'll repeat: it's irresponsible to recommend vanity (it's not hybrid) to authors looking to move toward trade publication.

And there are literally thousands of cover options between "pay pro rates" and Fiverr. This is a thing I've been researching myself for a book I'll be self-pubbing in (hopefully) 2021.
 
Last edited:

AW Admin

Herder of Hamsters
Staff member
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
18,271
Reaction score
5,236
Location
On the Server
I could NEVER make my own cover. Again, either I paid a hybrid or I paid a guy on Fiver. So I picked.
I could never do the formatting or art they did. Someone, somewhere was going to get money for providing those services. May as well be someone who already had a webpage and marketing experience.

Again, you're making it seem harder than it is out of ignorance. And you're making a poor recommendation to other writers from the point of ignorance.

It's possible that vanity publishing makes sense for some authors; typically those who have a private venue, like a conference, where they can hand sell. Not for the reasons you're offering.

The Website doesn't have to cost you a dime. The primary expense is c. $8.00 to $15.00 for a domain name.

If you look at the covers of people here who selfpublished you'll find that they found cover artists, some of who also work for Big 5 Publishers, without going broke or Fiverr.
 

katfeete

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
85
Location
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
Website
www.sunsetgrillcomic.com
On the contrary, nothing I researched indicated I could even pick my self-published font for less than $900.

$900 for a FONT?! Where the hell were you looking, Gold Plated Fonts Inc?

That cost bought me a cover (which I couldnt do myself), interior formatting (ditto), interior art and design (ditto). Either I paid a hybrid or I fork it over to someone else, but one way or another money is changing hands. Nothing is free.

Ok, so I don't self-publish, except my (purely online) webcomic, but even I can see your numbers are way the hell off.

Blambot is primarily a comic book font designer, but they offer a quite decent selection of body fonts at $25-$30 a pop for a commercial print license. A brief glance through the Nanowrimo Artisans subforum shows half a dozen people offering cover designs for anywhere from $50 to $250. Interior design services seem to run around $50. If I actually dug in, I'm sure I could do better.

So that's all the services you name for half the price with 5 minutes of research. Either you are really bad at research, or you're being disingenuous.

"Nothing is free" doesn't mean "I should pay $900 for $450 worth of services."

178 wasn't picked at random. That was every single literary agent I found in my subject area. I exhausted the list. At some point you just have to acknowledge the inevitable.
I'd run into a lot of dubious 'advice' during that process revealing many people with severe unrealistic expectations: "Oh just send out 7-8 queries and someone will be interested." If the alleged 'experienced' writers I'd run into hadn't been so unrealistic pie-in-the-sky, maybe I could have dug up more names. Maybe if there was ANY guarantee of success...but there isn't. It can be the best story in the world and no one will ever care.

Again, I'm not sure where the hell you found that advice. Most of the experience writers I know talk about re-papering their bedroom with rejection letters and "trunking" one, two, half a dozen novels before they sold one. Traditional publishing is hard, no disagreement there. Self-publishing is also hard.

But a vanity publisher is the sort of "short cut" that leads writers straight into money-sucking quicksand.

That was also (at least) 30 author tables ago. Con appearances. B&N Signings. Street Fairs. Those are all necessary foot pounding to meet the people and start making a name for yourself. Thats all hard-boiled experience which you just cant earn without a book in hand to sell.

Ok, cons are something I do have some experience with. I love cons. You get fabulous experience at them, you meet great people, they're way motivating, they're super fun. And they are money sinks. I have run a table for my comic collective for around five years and it's great, but if I actually run the numbers -- table cost, transportation, hotel, food -- and subtract it from net book income, I get a negative number every dang time. And that's assuming (as we always assume) that my time and labor are free. I spend a lot of time talking to the other folks selling (I mean, that's half the point) too, and it's not like I'm just bad at selling. There's maybe half a dozen indies making good money. Folks local to the con only have the table costs to cover, so they can usually break even or even make a little. The rest of us? We don't even add it up; we know damn well we're in the red.

And that's fine. But that you seem to be suggesting you can make your money back by selling books at cons, and that is... not increasing my confidence in your business sense.

So what then are we suppose to say about such matters?

"Die honorably?"
"The world needs burger flippers too?"
"Life is just one long broken dream?"

This isn't a choice between traditional publishing and self-publishing and no one but you is framing it that way. It's a choice between self-publishing your work (hiring out stuff like cover art, design, and editing as you feel you need, for the price you want) and giving your book to a vanity publisher who will require you to do the same amount of work as if you'd self-published, over-charge you for the privilege, and quite possibly include other hidden costs -- like a bad contract, or an editor with a history of taking the money and running. You've ignored the references to Vern Firestone and how he crashed and burned his last company and stole the royalties that were owed to his authors, possibly because you don't want to hear it. You shouldn't.

I'm glad you've had a good experience so far, but putting your fingers in your ears and pretending this thread is a debate on the merits of traditional publishing isn't going to protect you if things do come crashing down.
 

BenPanced

THE BLUEBERRY QUEEN OF HADES
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
17,462
Reaction score
3,679
Location
dunking doughnuts at Dunkin' Donuts
If you look at the covers of people here who selfpublished you'll find that they found cover artists, some of who also work for Big 5 Publishers, without going broke or Fiverr.

Srsly. There are some damned good cover artists out there who'll do really nice ready-made covers for under $100. (And if you're afraid you'll have a cover that looks like somebody else's, some artists even provide exclusives where if you purchase one, it's no longer available for sale to anybody else.) The good stuff that won't break the bank is out there; you'll just need to look around.
 
Last edited:

Hanukkah sameach!

Gold menorah and on a gradiated purple background