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Friday 16 May 2014

Come into my parlour..

Everything has a price, the bill will drop through the letterbox, and hope the total won't send the Bank Manager into a faint when the  balance drifts southward and the ink turns red. A situation  exacerbated by involvement with the Vanity Publishers. Adding up the figures had me wondering how it was done, then a little game began to emerge, whenever I land on a web page I scan the sidebars and skyscrapers, reading the links. then see where they go.  It became apparent very quickly that a lot of them would take the writer seeking publication to one or other of the Vanity Presses offering their services. The clicks rarely reached six, three or four was more likely. The adverts cropped up everywhere, they were almost unavoidable. What stopped me, a natural caution and not having that amount of money available.

The biggest,  which includes Author Solutions, see their authors as customers, and the lifetime value” of an author relationship to generate $5,000 for the company ( £2950)). Even in "partnership" with the smaller companies , the figures can climb into the thousands before the job is finished. Check the websites for yourself, and play around with the figures. Subsidiaries of AuthorSolutions, including AuthorHouse and Xlibris offer a range of virtually identical packages but not at the same; the basic package at xlibrispublishing.co.uk and authorhouse.co.uk  differ by £100 ($170). 

The question remained, faced with the price tag of the packages and the additional fees that creep on to the balance sheet what are the options available. Consider the basic package from one of the Author Solutions brand, and then look at possible alternatives with the constraints of a tight budget in mind. Use the imagination that created your book to launch it on to the world.

A friend who studied film and video recalls a tutor who explored the idea of the low budget, no budget movie; so how about we apply the idea to our publishing adventure.

First, the package;

Paperback availability
eBook availability, interior design
Custom full colour cover,
Electronic galley,
Paperback author copy,
Complimentary worldwide availability through Ingram distribution
Digital formatting and Distribution
Professional Marketing consultation
Books in print registration
Author Learning Centre 12 month subscription
UK Copyright
Image insertion (10)
Paperback package books (1)
Book stubs (10)
Google and Amazon search programme

The list above is available for £499 ($847), and no mention of copy editing (at XLibris a reasonable length novel of 86,000 / words is charged @ 1.1 pence per word  and chalks up a tab for £946/$1590) or proof reading? Add it to the basic package and it starts pushing the numbers up; unless you want to do it yourself.

So what if we do the whole job or as much as we can ourselves, outsource where we need help? Dismantle the list, work out what we need and price up an alternative.

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