When in doubt, check it out, and one of these things is the price of self-publishing packages.
I’ve started the next phase in my journey towards self-publishing, because it does look as if it will be the best option out there. My book is a niche market book, and it focuses on a very select group of people. I will have some challenges getting it into the mainstream publishers, not because it’s a bad book, but because it’s a niche market book.
I’m starting by researching on Google ‘self-publishing.’ In doing so I’ve come across two companies: AuthorHouse and Xlibris, both of whom like to make the claim that they will help with your self-publishing dreams. I’ve also found IUniverse, but I’ve not had as much in terms of dealing with them to have a concrete view on their services, although a quick glance shows much the same prices. Now on to some numbers, You’ll have to read this post, and the comment to understand where I’m coming from. I made mention of prices there, and this comment brought home the need for understanding research.
gold bars and dollar bill.
I will point out one fact: Yes I do buy self-published books, And on the whole I’ve been happy with them, until recently, when (I will not name the company) sent a book to me with missing pages, and the binding on the book bad enough that pages fell out. I’m sure the author had high expectations about their book, but this doesn’t help matters much.
I am meeting, as of 2009, some very great bloggers, and some fantastic writers, so my view on self-publishing is changing as I see many people with the ability to publish in a small market. The small market isn’t as hard to get into as it once was, now that there is the great wide Internet and one which allows me to build on the followers and readers of this blog. It took me a long while to learn about the writing and publishing challenges I could have with a self-publishing company.
Back to AuthorHouse and Xlibris.
Both have sent me many emails suggesting I sign up for a package with them. Xlibris has even called me, with suggestions I can sell at least 500 books with them and by using their marketing plan. The conversation had a lot of praise on a book which is still in the outline stage and which has plenty of research to go. The first draft was written, and tossed, as was a second draft. If I didn’t know any better, and thanks to the comment I do- I would think they were offering a ‘great deal.’ With the knowledge I have in hand, I know it’s not a good deal.
look beyond the money
It wasn’t a big deal, to me at least the very large promises they make, I can understand a few will not be done well. This is in terms of either writing or marketing or editing, however, I did check their website for prices: anywhere from $249 US all the way up to $12999 US. For me this would mean if I decided to publish with a $12,000 package, I would need to sell close to 3,000 books to regain the money I spent.
That’s not even close to a profit, and logically, when they said it would be great if I sold 500 books, and then offer a package where I could potentially earn 1/6 of it back is not a great deal. Numbers and logic when writing about a self-publishing company is important.
That to me, is a horror story I wouldn’t want to repeat, or to go through. The goal of a writer is to make back the money they spent as soon as possible.
The last number was similar to AuthorHouse, and Xlibris, and this makes me think there isn’t much difference to them. I would doubt they have everything I need for the price I want, and the other parts of the package which can be of use to myself as a writer.. I also think there is an element of do-it-yourself to self-publishing. As for looking up my book on a computer screen, that’s a great thing too. I’ll just need to let myself envision it. It means, in the end, writing is a career in which you need to make money to continue to write.
It’s important to follow your dreams, but it’s also important to ask the right sort of questions and get the right sort of answers at the right time. In this business, it’s vital to know who and what will help you grow as a writer and as a business.