AuthorHouse and “Publishing”.

What do you need when you decide that your writing is good enough? (Hint: just “good enough” really isn’t!) Most writers who want to have their book published, and have it make them money, and they need to start at the beginning of a long journey to creating a good book.

A First draft is not a good book.

Writers who fall into the category of it is good enough for me will want to have their books out faster and with less fuss than a writer who believes good enough is not really enough.  If you have edited and worked hard at your writing you continue to think the same thing.  At some point in the process a writer may begin to look at the options of self-publishing.

He or she can go to the search engines, most likely Google, and type in “self-publishing” and find that there are a lot of self-publishers. Now there is nothing wrong with looking or even getting an idea of what places have to offer.  One of them is AuthorHouse.  These companies include packages for a writer to choose from to follow their publishing dreams.

You want to avoid publishing a book which is not well written, though.  Unfortunately AuthorHouse may inadvertently push you towards this.  They will publish almost any book.  That is where the problem begins.  It starts when you give them your email so you can view more about their publishing packages.  To avoid this, simply look through their websites.

If you choose to give them your email, they will send you emails.  A lot of welcome email where they encourage you to give your phone number to them so they might be able to better serve your needs as an up and coming author.

I received an email from AuthorHouse a couple of days ago.  I’ve written before about my feelings for this company, but what I found rather interesting in this particular email was the “spin” they put on their prices.

At first they attract you with a base price of $559, which can include a free book.

They have several “choice” packages to choose from, which include ‘book to Hollywood’ and a non-fiction package.  These all sound wonderful, and they do make it clear it is your choice as a writer to choose a package based on your needs.  It is an ingenious method.  AuthorHouse, and Xlibris and iUniverse work much the same, they encourage you to talk about your books.  Then it is time for the customer service representative to suggest what will work for you based on your needs.  Often this is a higher package, with a higher price tag. (Update: The lowest priced package for AuthorHouse is now $899 US and goes to nearly $12,000)

Before you can say, “wow, that’s a bit much,” they will have you thinking about how you will pay for the package which suits your needs most.  The thing which caught my eye, was the lowest priced package offers no editing, you will need to purchase it at an extra cost or go higher. (Update June 2015: If you still want editing, you will still need to purchase that as an extra cost.  None of the packages offer this service.)

I believe this practice does nothing for the people the company says that they serve and create into authors. A new writer can easily be scammed into believing they have the next best thing, and without another clear head, they can be hurt from the craze of “I can be a bestselling author”)  AuthorHouse isn’t for everyone, and in fact most authors who have used them say it is harder to sell their book due to the higher prices that they make the authors sell their books at.  For example, as a reader I am more likely to buy a book at $10 than I am to buy this same book at $20, which is close to the average price for an AuthorHouse books.

Frankly, you need editing; you need to have your book seen and revised by at least one other human being.  Since they are taking that much of your money and “giving” you free book, the least that they could do is to add editing to the package.  (Mind you they would probably charge a higher price than the going rate.)

I think I will stick to my editors and Create Space.  Sounds a lot safer.