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

LindaJeanne

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Fair enough.

Somehow, I had been thinking in terms of e-books (and taking that on top of what the retailers it sells through takes) That still seems outrageous for me.

For a POD set-up, on the other hand -- I agree, it's stacks up reasonably with the other POD options.

(Now, to go look at the info again, and figure out how I got it into my head that that was just an e-book rate, rather than a POD-rate :eek:)
 

thothguard51

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As a member of Book Country, I have to say Colleen has been very upfront with what BC is and is not. There are some good discussions, but the crits are no better or worse than any other display site.

As to BC offering self publishing, I suspected this was coming and it did not surprise me. They got to pay the bills somehow to keeping the site running.

The pricing for what is offered does not sound bad to me. I see it as a one stop shop that offers ISBN's, formatting for e and print versions of the book, and multiple downloads to various e-vendors. For someone like me who has no clue on what to do, where to go, or are not very savvy with the computer, the price is reasonable.

My biggest concern, question, is of course, the 70% on top of the fee. If the 70% is on list and not on net after all the other sites take their percentages, I would say its good. But that 70% could quickly fall to 50% or less if not based on list.

To me, this is an added cost that feels like I am being gouged if I went this way. I mean, if I pay them $500, why should anyone also get 30% commission on the book? I mean, I paid them to do all the other stuff, so why take the additional 30% and for how long?

Like we say about other self publishing ventures, its still new and perhaps should review this in a year or so once there are reviews out and authors have given their views of how well, or how bad this worked for them...

I might also add, that I do not see this as a Penguin grab like HC did with Authonomy...
 

Chumplet

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I put up the first few chapters of my WIP for critique but I have no plans to use the self-publishing arm.

I like the feedback, the discussions, the layout and map. There are some good articles. The Twitter chats are entertaining and informative.

So far it works for me.
 

Hiroko

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I don't like this outfit at all. The way I see it, Penguin's trying to tap into a field with which they familiarize little, in the completely wrong way. Looks like a venture for money, as usual...
 

Polenth

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I don't think either extreme is useful - it's evidently not a scam, as they provide what they say, but it's also not problem-free and awesome in every way.

The Penguin connection will always create some problems, simply by existing. Downplaying the connection doesn't stop there being one. Hopefuls will see it as a chance to get noticed by Penguin, no matter how separate the administration or what the official policy states. Their book will be the one Penguin editors will read. They will be the one to get a deal from Penguin. And they may self-publish when they otherwise wouldn't have, with money they don't really have to spend. All because they're hoping Penguin will notice them. The only way to remove that would be for Penguin to sell the company or otherwise disconnect it completely.

It isn't helpful to pretend that no one will look on it as a way to get noticed by Penguin, because some people will.
 

honeysock

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Call me stupid, but after re-reading this thread (thank you, Insomnia), I still don't get Book Country's whole 30% royalty thing. Since it's self-publishing, it seems like the equivalent of me opening Honeysock's Hamburgers, using my own recipes, then paying McDonald's a franchise fee. I suppose if I opened up right next door to a McDonald's and capitalized on their location, marketing, and name recognition in the way of overflow, I might throw them a few pen-- . . . okay, no I wouldn't.

Of course my burgers would be freshly ground (chuck roast, brisket, and a little rib meat) and served on home-made brioche grilled with brown butter. But I digress.

I guess the e-publishing rules are still being re-written. I am always thankful to the AW community for its role in helping make sense of that. Even when it doesn't. Make sense, that is. : )
 
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mlhernandez

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Oops.

See? I asked to be corrected if I was wrong.

After I shut down for the night and put my little monster back to bed, I realized that's probably what you meant but I was too tired to roll out of bed and come downstairs to fix it. I'm sure that came across as snippy so my apologies!
 

J. Tanner

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I've been following it. I'm not sure there's much to debate.

They offer a level of convenience that doesn't exist with any other service.

They believe that convenience is worth the cost. Few (if any?) authors who've self-published through other means feel that convenience is worth what they're charging for it, me included.

(The guy from Penguin mentioned "drop caps" specifically in his response. That's a weird thing to say because the existing ebook formats don't really support them...)
 

D.M.Drake

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Some of the writers are calling it vanity publishing not self publishing. I am not really sure of the differences, so I plan to do some research. I was unaware there was a difference, and I am sorry for any toes that statement trods on.
 

thothguard51

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Well, if we get right down to it, all self publishing, is a form of vanity publishing... IMHO of course.
 

D.M.Drake

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Ok, so it does sound like they are the same, but most descriptions are vague at best. The only real distinction anyone can agree on is that vanity has preset 'packages' where self pub the author creates their own package. Please correct me if I am wrong. So with that knowledge it seems like the vanity vs. self pub argument is a bit silly. The price gouging argument however, seems valid. If I were to 'self pub' on Amazon and I followed the guidelines I could make 70% of profits. Now if I published through them they would get 30% after amazons cut. For a one time uploading process. 30% forever seems kind of... well... silly for something I could do myself. Or have done for a few hundred. Thoughts? Again, Please correct me if I am wrong, the whole e-pub, self-pub and vanity press thing is really not something I know well. :)
 

izanobu

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It's a move to make money on writers. I don't see what Book Country is offering that isn't available elsewhere for less money and no % of earnings.

The way I see it, I have two hats. My writer hat has one job (write the best books I can). My publisher hat when I choose to publish my own work (or anyone else's, for that matter) has its own list of jobs. Make sure the book is as widely available as I can, make sure it has a lovely cover, a good description, is professionally edited, send out review copies, etc. These are all things I need to do as a publisher. They are separate things from being a writer. Sometimes I hire help (always for covers and editing, since I choose not to do these myself for good reason). That help gets a flat fee, because they are contracted work that I, as publisher, am hiring. As the publisher of a work, I invest my time and money, same as if I were a larger traditional publisher. I take on the risk (I also happen to be the writer, which is a different hat, when I'm self-publishing).

Book Country wants a (very high) fee and a % of earnings forever. They are trying to stand in as publisher role but without any investment in a work. They are asking the writer to pay them and trust that everything will be taken care of. That is what sounds like a vanity press to me. (It sounds a lot like Publish America's plan, selling things to writers and not readers).
 

amergina

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Call me stupid, but after re-reading this thread (thank you, Insomnia), I still don't get Book Country's whole 30% royalty thing. Since it's self-publishing, it seems like the equivalent of me opening Honeysock's Hamburgers, using my own recipes, then paying McDonald's a franchise fee. I suppose if I opened up right next door to a McDonald's and capitalized on their location, marketing, and name recognition in the way of overflow, I might throw them a few pen-- . . . okay, no I wouldn't.

Of course my burgers would be freshly ground (chuck roast, brisket, and a little rib meat) and served on home-made brioche grilled with brown butter. But I digress.

I guess the publishing rules are still being re-written. I am always thankful to the AW community for its role in helping make sense of that. Even when it doesn't. Make sense, that is. : )

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Amazon take 30% of the income from self-published Kindle titles?

(or authors get 70% royalties, or however Amazon pitches it...)
 

Corinne Duyvis

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Amazon take 30% of the income from self-published Kindle titles?

(or authors get 70% royalties, or however Amazon pitches it...)

Yes, and from what I can tell they'd take 30% on top of that, for doing nothing more than formatting and uploading.
 

Williebee

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MOD Note:

I'm gleaning another merge, to put all this with the already existing Book Country thread.

Please stand by.

ETA: Moved, merged. Apologies for any drink spillage.
 
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Old Hack

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Some of the writers are calling it vanity publishing not self publishing. I am not really sure of the differences, so I plan to do some research. I was unaware there was a difference, and I am sorry for any toes that statement trods on.

There are clear differences between vanity and self publishing: but so long as writers know what all the implications are of their chosen route into print, I'm not sure that it's too important to make this distinction any more.

Here are two blog posts I wrote about the subject, which might be of interest.
 

Gillhoughly

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Joe Konrath steps in swinging:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-country-fail.html

I'm not keen to spend 99.00 on digital uploads when what's offered is free elsewhere with a better royalty.

I spent about an hour each getting books formatted for three different venues and another hour checking for bugs. If BC charges 99.00 per title, then I'm in the red for ... OUCH!

No, thank you, BC.
 

MicheleLee

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I have another analogy for this. Yeah, I don't need to pay someone to mow my yard because I have the tools and can do it for free myself. And I could get a mix of cheap and convenient by paying the kid down the street to do it but that might bite me on the butt. Or I could pay a pro to do it and yeah it's expensive, but if they mow over my herb garden they replace it.

I consider myself perfectly capable of doing this all myself. But not everyone is. Browsing the Kindle Boards it's real easy to see how some people could really benefit from the marketing, editing, formatting, cover art-ing...etc., help of...well, almost anything. (My browsing of the Kindle boards was not a pleasant experience.)

The value based on price heavily depends on the people involved.
 

Corinne Duyvis

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Based on the description quoted earlier in the thread, though, would they actually do anything aside from formatting and uploading? If the services included editing and cover design -- which, I agree, is essential and tricky to do on your own -- this would be a different matter entirely. As it is, this would be outrageously pricy even without the 30% royalties.

I may be entirely wrong, though. /disclaimer to avoid taking any responsibility for my words whatsoever. It's late, okay?
 

Deb Kinnard

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Not scam, IMO, based on what I've googled and link-followed to see. But good for the author? No, I think not.

I hate the idea that some of these self-publishing assist programs are using the reputable publishers' reputations and names as deodorants.

And what? do they think writers don't talk to each other? that this won't come out, big-time, on AW and blog here and blog there, until many, many people know what a bad idea it is? Puh-leeze.