I have reached a critical point in the publishing life of my book where I must pull out all the stops. I have been searching for a publisher/self publisher for months, and thought I found one.
Yesterday afternoon, I dutifully spoke to representatives from Balboa Press (Hay House) and Xlibris (Penguin/Random House) asking (what I considered to be) intelligent and probing questions regarding their publishing specs, marketing, and even their author contract. It never occurred to me, until I did a Google search for complaints and scams, that the owner company of both these presses, Author Solutions, could itself be the problem. During my search I stumbled upon a website intended for authors that specifically mentioned steering clear of all Author Solution companies (Balboa, Xlibris, Trafford Publishing, iUniverse, Author House, etc.) The website went so far as to call them scam and rip off artists, listing numerous complaints and court cases, some going as high as the Attorney General’s office.
It was a sobering afternoon. The rosy colored world the reps report, along with a strong desire to see my book in print, almost snagged me. (Additionally, each offered huge discounts if I signed with their company before the end of August.) So, I got another lesson in not accepting illusion as reality without knowing the facts – which could turn out to be a good looking house of cards. No thanks, been there, done that.
it’s back to the proverbial drawing board but with an added dose of information and skepticism. So, here’s my request: If anyone out there knows anything about, or knows someone who knows anything about Balboa, Xlibris, or the world of publishing/self publishing, please get back to me post haste. I will be eternally grateful for your willingness and knowledge. Thanks in advance for your help.
I arrived here via your LinkedIn post. The promise of a ‘discount’ should have been your first red flag. Don’t ever pay to get published. If you’re going to self-publish, use a DIY vehicle like CreateSpace or Smashwords. It doesn’t cost a dime, unless you engage their formatting, editing, promotional, etc. services. I find it quite easy to upload my manuscripts and covers (they have free book cover templates you can use, too). You can proof the finished product online or order a physical proof. You are not obliged to buy any of your books but can order as many or as few as you like, as they are print-on-demand. In addition, you have complete control over what you put out and you retain the royalties rather than sharing them with a rip-off company. The Author Solutions companies bank on the fact that you have to buy a certain quantity of books from them, and that you’ll probably never sell them all, much less break even (i.e., you’re out a bunch of cash and not making a dime while they have profited). I’m guessing the review site you spoke of was Preditors and Editors which is widely respected.
The traditional publishing route is much harder to navigate. Those publishers need a guaranteed audience and they know that a newbie is hardly likely to foster a big profit. Those publishers don’t ask you for any money, but IF they agree to look at a few chapters, after you query them, it will be months before you hear anything one way or another – and most don’t like multiple submissions, so you may only get to submit to a couple of them a year. If they do ask to see the complete manuscript (4 or 5 months after you’ve sent the sample chapters), it will be another 4 or 5 months before you hear anything more. In other words, it could take several years to publish at that rate.
A number of authors who have been traditionally published are choosing to go the self-publishing route because they receive more of the royalties (no publisher to share them with) and because they have greater control over their work, covers, titles, etc. I recently heard from one author who is spending a lot of time bumping heads with her trad. publisher because they don’t like her title and she doesn’t like theirs.
Personally, I’m very happy with CreateSpace. I would, however recommend that you do hire a developmental editor. Do not entrust this task to friends, family, etc. An objective, experienced editor who is familiar with the flow, structure and pace a book should have is essential. And it’s good to have someone who is not afraid to tell you if you’re being too wordy, if references are vague or obscure, etc.
Best of luck to you. (Looking back, I see that I should have edited myself!)
Hello Wendy…me too “bloomer’
I have plenty of info on XLibris having had three books published by them…see my latest post http://rodneystclairballenden.wordpress.com and “the burning”
I have had one book published by SBPRA so info regarding them as well.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail and a longer form of communication.
First off…stay with the process. It is a wonderful journey. It is your empowerment and finally your enjoyment. Your work is worth the journey (not that I have read your work), because the words you write define your steps.
Kind regards Rodney