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lynnmosher

Beware Of These Publishing Sites

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55 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

If I wanted to open a restaurant, I would consult the experts first and hire experienced people.
If I wanted to sell cars, I would consult the experts and hire experienced people.
Likewise for a medical practice, or a furniture store, or a zoo.
Why should publishing be any different? I don't get it.

 

I think because of one thing: starting a company, a restaurant, or a store, or buying a car, are done with the head. A book is written with the heart and out of one's soul.  And sometimes in tears.

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1 hour ago, lynnmosher said:

A book is written with the heart and out of one's soul.  And sometimes in tears.


Exactly. When you write a book and take it to market, it makes you a self-employed business owner. Every part of it is your responsibility, and no part of it isn't.

I guarantee you that Wolfgang Puck, or Bobby Flay, bring just as much passion to their work as you do to yours. They succeed because they also used their heads.
.

Edited by Steven Hutson

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LOL Awww, rats! You changed it. I like Booby Flay better! xD

 

2 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

They succeed because they also used their heads.

 

Yes, but what you don't seem to grasp is that sometimes, a newbie writer's head for business is not connected just yet. ;)

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4 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

a newbie writer's head for business is not connected just yet. ;)

 
Then he shouldn't sign a binding contract with a vendor.

Writers are not a special class of humans. The economy gives them no special treatment. 


If your head isn't yet connected, it is not because [insert vendor name here] made it so.
.

Edited by Steven Hutson

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5 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Then he shouldn't sign a binding contract with a vendor

Clarification please. Are you saying that there are no bad vendors taking advantage, only bad writers that are blaming the vendors? 

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22 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

If your head isn't yet connected, it is not because [insert vendor name here] made it so.

 

Wow, you're in a mood today. Maybe you should change your profile photo? 😄

 

clint-eastwood.jpg.0e848f2b6301e14b9b0630585b184292.jpg

 

**Quickly ducks out of the room**

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You can follow my comments, Z. I've a answered that question a few times now in this thread and elsewhere.

The first time I bought a car, I took my dad with me. He had experience that I lacked, and he helped me to understand the contract before I signed it.

If a novice writer signs a contract that he doesn't understand, I find it hard to blame the vendor. 

In the course of my business, I have counseled hundreds of writers who were disappointed in their self-pub results. I ask them to show me the contract, and we reviewed it together line-by-line. In all but a handful of cases, the vendor did everything they promised.

In almost every case, the writers were disappointed because they expected the vendor to do things that the vendor never promised. In that kind of situation, I find it hard to blame the vendor.
 

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15 hours ago, Steven Hutson said:

Just answering the questions at hand.

 

True, you are answering questions. 

 

Should authors carefully study the terms and conditions of any perspective publisher? Sure, no argument there.

 

Does every (self-pub) author perform due diligence to avoid entering into an unfavorable publishing agreement? Obviously not. And why does this happen? That’s debatable, but I’d say it’s mostly a combination of ignorance and deception.

 

However (and this is where I take issue with your position), are there publishers ready to exploit unsuspecting authors? Far too many, according to numerous reports. It’s really no different than any other business out there. There seems to be no shortage of bad companies exploiting consumers, and publishing is no exception.

  

The purpose of this topic is to warn and educate authors to a class of publishers (vanity) with well-documented, predatory business practices. I find that a commendable effort. That fact that you choose to (rather harshly) place the blame solely on the author, while painting these publishers as companies just trying to do business, makes me wonder - have you ever directed one of your clients to one of these publishers?

 

Or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

Edited by Accord64
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1 hour ago, Accord64 said:

are there publishers ready to exploit unsuspecting authors? Far too many,


Confused. I thought we were talking about self-pub. No?
 

 

1 hour ago, Accord64 said:

you choose to (rather harshly) place the blame solely on the author


No, that's not what I do. I discuss the topic at hand.
 

 

1 hour ago, Accord64 said:

painting these publishers as companies just trying to do business


Again, I thought we were talking about self-pub. Have I misunderstood this whole conversation?
.

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16 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Confused. I thought we were talking about self-pub. No?

I know you're pretty down on self-publishing, but we are are still considered authors.

 

17 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Again, I thought we were talking about self-pub. Have I misunderstood this whole conversation?

Apparently you have. We're talking about predatory vanity publishers.

 

15 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Heh. Nope. Nothing in it for me.

 

So, it's just arguing for the sake of arguing.

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10 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

I know you're pretty down on self-publishing, but we are are still considered authors.


No, I'm not down on self-pub. I'm all in favor of an author doing whatever works for them. Which requires education.

No, I don't question anyone's status as an author.  But if you seek to self-pub your book, the publisher is you. That's kinda the definition of the term. 

 

10 minutes ago, Accord64 said:

Apparently you have. We're talking about predatory vanity publishers.


Well, the company featured in that article (and, I thought, the topic of this discussion) was ASI. They're not a publisher.
.

Edited by Steven Hutson

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2 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Should authors carefully study the terms and conditions of any perspective publisher? Sure, no argument there.


So if the author gets angry because the vendor failed to do something the contract never promised...?

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16 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Well, the company featured in that article (and, I thought, the topic of this discussion) was ASI. They're not a publisher.
.

I agree.But the point is many of these companies listed CLAIM to be publishers, CALL themselves publishers and claim to offer publishing services.

 

Thanks to the education you;re giving, we know now how to read closely the services they offer - and they're clearly a hugely expensive self publishing house - in other words, a print house like you say.

 

While these businesses do exactly what they say, the advertising seems to be implying services they don't offer - deceptive at best.

 

I agree with everything you're saying, but they should be saying, "we'll print your book gladly and offer suggestions on how to get it on bookshelves in brick and mortar businesses", instead of using wording that implies they do more than that.

 

 Then the untutored would know, "ah... I see what they're selling." And you can compare prices, and determine if you're paying an excessively high amount to have a box full of your books sitting in your living room with no buyers.

 

These companies should be bearing some of the blame. I agree with everything you're saying, and you've educated me a great deal on this subject. But I do think if you call yourself "Tate Publishing" and... you're not a publisher, it's like calling myself attorney at law when I'm not, or Doctor Reicher when I'm not an MD.

 

Although Doctor Reicher does have a ring to it!

 

In the interest of honesty, the companies should be calling themselves Tate Printing, etc.

 

I do have a suggestion - you should have a 60 minute seminar on "self publishing pitfalls" and spent perhaps seven minutes going through the claims of a print house and showing people exactly what they're claiming.  This way, people won't be buying something other than what they are, there'll be no lawsuits, and people will know what they're getting into.

 

I think you said once that you do speak sometimes at writers conventions on this. If you don't, shop it around, name your speaker's fee and get the info out there.

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I know what you're going to ask - "Where do they imply they get your books into shops?"

 

Here's what you've taught us to read - they don't. 

 

And we appreciate you teaching us that.

 

We just like to be able to identify someone who claims to be a publisher in name versus someone who truly is one.

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2 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

many of these companies listed CLAIM to be publishers,

 

This is what Author House (the biggest self-pub vendor) calls itself on its website: "AuthorHouse is the leading provider of supported self-publishing services for authors around the globe, "

But even if they called themselves a publisher: If your chosen path is to self-pub your book, then the publisher is you.
 

4 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

the advertising seems to be implying services they don't offer


Hence, the contract.
 

 

5 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

"we'll print your book gladly and offer suggestions on how to get it on bookshelves in brick and mortar businesses


Self-pub vendors don't promise such.
 

7 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

But I do think if you call yourself "Tate Publishing"


Not a fan. But Tate DID offer trad deals for some.
 

 

8 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

I do have a suggestion - you should have a 60 minute seminar on "self publishing pitfalls"


Oh, but I do. And I teach it (or some version of it)  all over the country, several times a year.

 

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1 hour ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

We just like to be able to identify someone who claims to be a publisher in name versus someone who truly is one.


When in doubt, check out these websites:

www.randomhouse.com
www.macmillan.com
www.sourcebooks.com

Then compare them to:

www.lulu.com
www.authorhouse.com
www.outskirtspress.com

How does the first group differ from the second?
.

Edited by Steven Hutson

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2 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

While these businesses do exactly what they say, the advertising seems to be implying services they don't offer - deceptive at best.

This is the nub of the problem. David Gaughran wrote a blog post that highlights another way in which some of these guys operate. Quoting from the opening of the post:

Quote

 

Experienced authors tend to chastise vanity press victims for not doing sufficient research, but the murky web of vanity partnerships — and the uncritical coverage which invariably accompanies same — makes it difficult for newer writers to chart a safe path.

 

Some vanity presses are very good at crafting a veneer of legitimacy, one which can be very convincing to those starting out. Infamous vanity press conglomerate Author Solutions figured this out very early on, creating partnerships with Penguin, Harlequin, Writer’s Digest, Random House, HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson, Hay House, Reader’s Digest, Lulu, and Barnes & Noble.

 

These partnerships served two purposes. First, they delivered an endless stream of victims directly from the companies themselves who would refer business to Author Solutions in return for a cut. Second, they helped Author Solutions whitewash its past, acting as a reputational fig leaf, hiding its seamy nature until it was too late.

 

 

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Yes, they say that but they also list their imprints (“An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which it publishes a work.” An imprint is a publisher.)

 

AuthorHouse

AuthorHouse is a leading provider of supported self-publishing services for authors worldwide and takes an AuthorCentricSM approach to book publishing.

 

iUniverse

iUniverse provides the publishing services that you might expect from a traditional publisher and has built its platform on editorial excellence, author recognition and strategic partnerships.  

 

Trafford Publishing

Trafford Publishing sparked the self-publishing revolution with its introduction of “on-demand book publishing services” and expert support.

 

Xlibris

Xlibris is a supported self-publishing company created by authors, for authors and founded on the principle that authors should keep control over their works.

 

However, if you go to AuthorHouse’s home page, you find this:

 

image.png.65a4666d5a4ba33ed6cf154165d3afdd.png

 

iUniverse says this: iUniverse provides the publishing services you would expect from a traditional publisher, but brings books to market faster and leaves the decision-making power in the hands of authors.

 

Trafford says this: Trafford Publishing sparked the self-publishing industry revolution in 1995 with its introduction of “on-demand book publishing services.”

 

Xlibris says this: A pioneer of the supported self-publishing industry, Xlibris is a book publishing company created by authors, for authors. Xlibris has helped over 50,000 authors publish over 75,000 unique titles.

 

Hard to deny they call themselves publishers.

 

 

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I figure, there are two ways to help remedy this situation:

1- Compel the vendors to change their ways; or

2- Educate the writers in how to work the system.

I figure, it is not in my or your power to change #1. 

But it is indeed within our power to fix #2.

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From what I can see in that list, I see "publishing services" (which includes design and printing) and "we helped a bunch of authors publish." Both of those statements are accurate.

Gotta read past the headlines. When you self-pub a book, the publisher is you.

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