Author David Gaughran has posted an article over on his blog warning about the growing minefield of people out there looking to sell overpriced services to self-publishing authors under the pretense of being real publishing houses. The sad thing is that the real publishing houses have smelled money and are now also trying to get into the game!
Most of this is being done by Author’s Solutions, a modern Vanity Press company David gives these stats about:
1. 150,000 customers have only published 190,000 books, meaning there’s very little repeat business – esp. when you factor in all the authors publishing multiple titles right off the bat. For comparison, the average Smashwords author has published over four titles with them.
2. The average Author Solutions customer spends $5,000 publishing their book, and only sells 150 copies.
3. Only one-third of Author Solutions’ income comes from book sales royalties. Two thirds comes from author services – their whole model is based on making money from you, not with you.
These are leeches preying on people’s hope and dreams, and not giving anywhere near back what they take. Note #2, how they charge $5000 on average to “help” you get your book ready to market. Do you know how much most self-pubbed authors pay reputable services for editing and a cover? $300-$500 for the whole package! (It can get up around $1000 if you want more extensive work done and you hire a high-end artist for the cover.) And actually, many pay ZERO dollars if they have friends and family who can help them do it, since the actual publishing side is free for eBooks (and costs around $40 to set up Print-on-Demand services through Amazon or Lulu).
And no matter how much you pay to whom, you still have to do all your own marketing!
All for average sales of 150 copies. (Lifetime.)
So do your homework.
Real publishers ask for ZERO money upfront, because they pay you to publish your work, not the other way around.
Reputable editors and services don’t charge you thousands of dollars to get your book ready.
Read the linked article, ask around, explore your options, and beware the traps! For there are many, and you will get screwed if you pick the wrong one!