Registered: Oct 11, 2006
| Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 03:32 PM||Reply with quote #1 |
|Writing the book is of course, the first step, then sending out hundreds of query letters to hundreds of publishers is next. Growing thicker skin as all the letters are returned with a variety of no's. Next you turn to self publishing, this is the route I took. As a member of the PEI Writers Guild I asked them, and booksurge was recommended. |
They are IMHO quite good, the quality of the print-paper and finished product in my case was very good. The sort of things to avoid, are not taking time to do things properly. I was excited, it was close to Christmas, I wanted my books available for the holidays, so I rushed things. The book came out on time, looked great, but there were too many mistakes/errors, (all my fault) if I'd taken more time I would have caught before the final print took place. Nevertheless the book sold well locally after getting a great review in the Provincial Newspaper, one complete page with photo plus another smaller section on next page. I also was interviewed on the local radio station. I thought I had it made and was headed for the big time!!LOL. Local media don't often have a lot of newsy items available, so really my fame and coverage was easy. Next it was time to spread out to larger media coverage, that proved to be very difficult, papers like the Globe & Mail didn't even reply nor did many other large papers.
I tried the lone newspaper on the Isle of Wight (some of my story takes place there) they said they'd look at it. Turned me down ,not enough Island content. Next tried the lone Island magazine, same story. I couldn't believe there wasn't enough content!! it may have only been two or three chapters but they were for me a huge part of my life. (you have to read them to understand)
Belfast Telegraph agreed to look at a copy and might review, that was in March 2005, I'm still waiting, they don't say no, just that they haven't had time yet??
There are many more similar stories but I wont bore you with them. The bottom line is, it aint easy!! After the first year of doing all I could to promote the book I decided to have it professionally edited and my photo added to the back page, this cost me a $1000 US but I also received free 50 copies, so it was a good deal.
In total I have paid Booksurge about $1400 US. It will probably cost more today prices have risen, A few things I learned along the way, people I knew would often stop me on the street or in a store to ask about my book. Two things here, At first I was reluctant to say it was a "good book", kinda like blowing one's own horn. I'm over that now, this is truly a wonderful book. The second thing was the time involved explaining what it was about. I solved this by creating a two piece business card which folds in half. The outside is same colour and a smaller version of the actually book cover. Open it and there is a brief outline of the content and story on one side, and on the other, name-email how to order etc. This is a great tool and I now hand them out at every opportunity. I read somewhere that a self published author should never give books away, I disagree, naturally you don't give them away to just anyone, but to people who might pass along good comments etc, word of mouth is a great seller. I have tried a variety of other methods to sell, sent out letters to everyone I could think of. Drop flyers into the mail boxes along the country roads. Its hard to judge the success but books are selling. I have it on consignment at the city bookstores, Indigo/Chapters and others, in the last year have probably sold about 60 books this way. On-line I've sold a couple of hundred and locally by the methods already mentioned about 600. My latest thing is the webpage and I continue to chase newspapers TV & radio. I've had some very good comments from people that read the book, they came in the form of cards and phone calls As an example one lady phoned to say it was as good as any best seller she had ever read, another lady told me it was better than "Angela's Ashes" Such kind words have motivated me to work harder for success. I have no regrets and indeed I'm enjoying the work of trying to make Lily & Me a success. As to using Booksurge, over all I have been pleased with their product, I did have some problems with royalties but that was resolved. I'm presently working on a second book and will probably self publish it thru Booksurge too. I hope my story is of interest and perhap of help too.
If anyone has question don't hesitate to ask me, we are all in the same business or is that the same boat?? Cheers Ben (irishrover)
Registered: July 30, 2004
| Posted Nov 19, 2006 at 06:03 PM||Reply with quote #2 |
This is a real help! You have done very well in your efforts.
Visit Author-Me.com today!
Registered: Sept 21, 2007
| Posted Sept 21, 2007 at 09:31 PM||Reply with quote #3 |
COMPARED in the REAL WORLD
For a VERY detailed look at self-publishing and POD see
I've been self publishing perhaps the most popular manual on the Yahoo search engine (and for a time #1 on Google as well, and perhaps again soon) for car painting, "how to paint a car" or "paint a car" and "paint your car" etc etc, and variation thereof.
Besides the car title (admittedly a brief non-literary manual)I also make my entire living self-publishing my other 5 books, 20 CDs, and 2 feature film DVDs on brain and behavior science, amygdala, frontal lobes...just a bit of my qualifications here, (this is not a commercial :-)
I've run my OWN print shop, and printed with local presses, and have offered online digital downloads as well through my own website, and made my entire living for the past 7 years on my titles alone.
Lately I decided to explore Print On Demand services for small runs, and figuring out how to get on Amazon.
#1- If you are an author, and figure you can print your own books and then get on Amazon through their Advantage program-- JUST FORGET IT. The take Amazon extracts in retailer discount, added to your print costs, added to your shipping (they don't pay, what, are you kidding?) makes it virtually IMPOSSIBLE for the independent author, first to even navigate through the process, but more importantly, you will make so little money in this method, you would be better asking for spare change on the corner.
#2- You can get a distribution deal through one of several online POD services like LULU, LightningSource, or BookSurge and it appears to be possible to make a little money-- between nothing and 25% of the retail price depending on what you do.
#3- Lee Goldberg has said on his blog about POD and BookSurge "....you will never sell more than a 100 copies of a fictional book if you go POD or publish yourself...." Never is a very big word. I disagree, and there are many people who have sold THOUSANDS of books, if not more, through genius and/or hard work self-promotion, admittedly a lofty endeavor. I've sold about 50,000 books through my website ALONE, and I didn't even have an ISBN on any of them, and wasn't on Amazon or any other online website book portal. There are many other good examples. Granted, yes, the majority of writers will self-publish, or go POD, and sell next to nothing, but that's extremely common, but not cast in stone. Writing and making a printed copy is only the beginning.
Booksurge does offer expensive full publishing services (and I'm NOT defending Booksurge or any other gorilla sized corporation for that matter) - where you give them nothing but your copy, and they crank out a fully done book. BUT, they do offer a completely affordable Express package for $99 where you get an ISBN and submit your own press ready PDF file-- bam, you're in business and on Amazon.
LightingSource offers a similer under $100 package, but you have to buy your own ISBN separately-- $300 for a set of 10, or a LOT of MONEY just for 1. Oops. I made THAT mistake, and I now am sitting on 10 ISBNS that I don't need whatsoever.
Anyway, Booksurge or LightningSource, in the end it's not hard to do at all (ONCE YOU FIGURE OUT HOW), you just need to convert your book copy to PDF, and do it correctly--- so you have to follow some special instructions. On LULU (more on LULU later) it was a snap-- you don't even need to convert from Word, but if you do, its not that painful, and you can do it in minutes (again once you do it the first time) and LULU PDF conversion can be done with a minimum of fuss if you follow the directions.
I signed up for the $99 Booksurge PDF Express contract--- you submit your own press ready PDF file, and they publish.
Easier said then done.
Well, if you write your book on Microsoft Word, and can make a cover in Photoshop, this should be no more than a few hours work at most. $99 sounds very
I have spent a FULL MONTH trying trying trying to submit my book (with black and white jpg. images) file to Booksurge for publication. 18 REVISIONS now.
I finally figured out the problem.
The INSTRUCTIONS provided by BookSurge were FLAWED.
There is NO WAY following their given instructions will you have an acceptable book file if you have images and use Acrobat 7 to convert to PDF. MAYBE works if you don't have images, but that's a coin flip again, depending on your PC setup.
I can only imagine there are THOUSANDS of customers who have gone through this exact same unbelievable frustration trying to meet their specs using their instructions. Time for BookSurge to fix their submission instructions already.
I think I will write a book about it. HAHAHA! And sell it on my own site.The answers on http://www.myownpublishing.com
"How to submit to Booksurge, and get it to work."
In any case, I've looked at LULU, and I have published a version of a couple of my books there for a year-- through the fre set-up Lulu Marketplace, and get an astonishing 50% royalty (better even on digital downloads) IF I SELL ON LULU MARKETPLACE. I make between $200-$300 a month on my titles alone there.
Please take note: IF I sell on Lulu Marketplace I make money with LULU. This excludes their RETAIL setup...
They also offer a RETAIL contract, and for $50 you get and ISBN and they will distribute retail, through Amazon and others. Sounds great, right?
Only to discover that although their retail agree looks good on the surface, once you calculate the cost of any reasonably sized book-- say 300+ pages, the cost of the book skyrockets to above any reasonable purchase price, and your reduced retail royalty is absolutely absurd. Example: Make a 500 page book, the MINIMUM selling price is $24, and you make 31 cents.
This is NOT a typo. 31 CENTS royalty.
If you want a ful $1, the cost of the book minimum is $25.50. A paperback 6X9. Black and white inside.
Lets say you want to make a 350 page paperback-- minimum Lulu retail cost: $19.50,
and you make $1.
Who pays $20 for a 350 page paperback? Man, you better have a GREAT Publicist. The newest Harry Potter Hardback is a 750 page book and costs $20, and was $35 on the day of issue.
So much for Lulu retail....
At least Booksurge gives you a 25% flat royalty on the retail price, and their books cost less each than LULU retail--- but from the sound of all the complaints people are making, plus the submission problems--- gadzooks--- be prepared to watch like a hawk just for starters. If you can get it to work, great. I'm am still trying, and think I've now got it after 4 weeks of trial and error.
The main point here being-- if you write a book, you can print it yourself, or get a POD to print it. I printed my own books for years, and finally when I could afford to, I gave up this practice, and will let someone else do it now. But there are distinct traps to avoid, including being misled and being given insufficient instructions to complete a submission process. But if you can market your book-- heck, you can print and bind as you go with nothing more than a few good inkjet printers and a comb binder. And you can sell ONLINE with NO physical book as well. You can make AUDIO book cassettes and CDs. These are all options, and THEY ALL WORK. I am qualified to tell you yes, indeed.
This is ONLY the beginning of being an author. The BIGGEST problem is getting word out, getting people to buy your book. That's a whole universe to explore at another time, on another blog.
Have Fun with your frontal lobes.
Registered: Sept 21, 2007
| Posted Oct 02, 2007 at 02:39 PM||Reply with quote #4 |
|FINAL RESULTS-- BOOK QUALITY FROM BOOKSURGE|
I've printed the same 86 page Easy How To Paint Your Car PRO Your Sefl book http://www.easypaintyourcar.com book now on both BookSurge and at LULU.
The results were- on one hand a surprise, and on another, no surprise at all.
As stated previous, my submission problems with BookSurge were enormous, and relatively pain free at Lulu. I would have never even considered BookSurge except that I have a much larger project in hand for the near future, and 5 other titles. Selling retail through Lulu is very unpractical except through their own Lulu Marketplace, which isn't really retail. So, I went ahead with submitting to BookSurge as well, and have now made these observations after they sent me a PROOF copy of the same book I received with little effort over a month earlier from the Lulu Press.
Bearing this all in mind-- there is a fine print caveat for retail books through Lulu- they stateI paraphrase): "Your retail books may not look the same as we FARM OUT printing jobs for retail titles." !! I.e., although your LULU printed book may look great, there is no guarantee the retail version of the book won't end up being printed by another printer--- and a good chance, it may very well be BOOKSURGE itself.!!!
There is no comparison-- the BookSurge Proof copy looks amateur and of poor quality next to the Lulu edition.
Here's my letter to BookSurge:
Today I have just received my PROOF copy from Booksurge.
I have it here on my desk next to the copy of the exact same book made by LULU.
Let us review a couple of points:
1) It took me one day to format and submit my book to LULU, at zero cost.
It took me FIVE WEEKS to format and submit my book to Booksurge and get everything to your specs.
2) I had a LULU copy in under a week in my mailbox.
Five weeks+ after signing up with Booksurge
3) The Lulu book looks perfect.
The BookSurge book is of noticeable and significant poorer quality, Specifically:
Booksurge Proof Flaws
a) The cover is not centered, although my own cover art proof was
b) The cover ink is less brilliant, and the cover photo is dark
c) all, every single inside halftone image is significantly poorer quality and underexposed compared to the LULU halftone images, they are quite BLURRY by comparison, despite the ENORMOUS amount of effort I put into insuring all images were 300 dpi. The Booksurge images are no better than a photocopier quality--- and render the book "amateur"
d) There are numerous pages where ink bleed and contamination lie across the text-- see thescan below
e) The binding is marked and of lesser quality-- rather than being a true perfect bound book, the binding has significant marks on the top and bottom of the cover that run the length of the book.
Bearing all of this in mind, I find the Booksurge project does not meet professional publishing standards, of which, as a publisher, and an author published by a major publishing company (Rowohlt), I am completely familiar with the standards that determine a book to be of fine and professional quality, and I reject your proof copy, and wholly withdraw this project.
I FORMALLY REQUEST A FULL REFUND OF THIS PROJECT COST AT THIS TIME.
This is indeed disconcerting as publishing a good size book with LULU is not at all cost effective (except if you sell ONLY through the LULU Marketplace outlet, which is very reasonable at a 50% royalty. Large books over about 100 pages cannot be sold through their retail arrangement with any practicality, as their printing prices are too high, and their royalties through Amazon are too low
.Although THEORETICALLY it is possible to publish with BookSurge (they pay a flat 25% royalty, on reasonably priced copies)-- the quality I am seeing is such that I would not have my name on a book they print.
I shall now try Lightning Source and see if they can crank out a better looking book than Booksurge.
PS- Wed Oct. 3. Heard back from BookSurge and they are issuing a full refund without any further argument. Okay, I respect them for that at least.
Registered: July 30, 2004
| Posted Oct 02, 2007 at 02:56 PM||Reply with quote #5 |
This is a wonderful comparison - fairly done, and with very understandable analysis.
I hope everyone understands how much work Neil has gone to in doing this.
I wonder if anyone might want to try this comparison with other PODs.
Meanwhile, Lightning Surge (or, isn't it Lightning Source) will provide another very useful comparison.
Visit Author-Me.com today!
Registered: Sept 21, 2007
| Posted Oct 03, 2007 at 11:17 PM||Reply with quote #6 |
|Updated: http://www.myownpublishing.com |
I reveal the secrets for BookSurge submission-- although per above, I will not have them print my book at any price.
Registered: Oct 07, 2007
| Posted Oct 07, 2007 at 04:21 AM||Reply with quote #7 |
|We used Lightning Source (LSI), Lulu and Kyodo Printing in Singapore (1,500 hardbound copies - prepaid) to do a 256 page 8.5 x 11 full colour book with over 400 colour photographs.|
Kyodo - about US$8 a book, prepaid ($12,000 for 1,500 hardbound copies)
LSI - about $27 a book, PoD - prepaid (about $100 for a setup fee)
Lulu - about $45 a book, PoD - no setup fee
All were prepared in pdf format, separate cover, print-ready using Adobe CS-2, InDesign 2 and Photoshop 2. If you want a book to look professional, use the professional tools. Buy it at the education rate.
Note that we created a single 400 MB data file that we copied into Word to use their spelling and grammer checker. We would then make the corrections by hand in InDesign, as the InDesign spelling checker is weaker. Note also that we found the free Picasa photo software was sometimes faster than Photoshop because their pre-select image modifications seemed just right.
In our case, we went with the PoD for the overseas markets (we are in New Zealand).
Lulu Anyone can work with Lulu, they are set up for amateurs. Their web software has some bugs, and sometimes its hard to follow the instructions. Their colour is better than LSI, however, they tell you to use the original format of your photographs (RGB), suggesting they will convert the pdf to their printers (which we presume are CMYK). Mistake as the photos come back in the book with excess black, exactly as they look on our HP3800 printer when we ran a sample and used RGB, not CMYK (R-ed, G-reen, B-lue are the colours used on a display screen or TV. C-yan, M-agenta, Y-ellow, B-lack are the colours used in a printer). Lulu is slower to get the book printed. The big drawback is the cost... in colour LSI is 10 cents a page, Lulu is 15 cents. Also, on LSI you can set a distributor's commission between 20% and 55%, whereas Lulu dictates the commission will be 55%. Thus, Lulu is unrealistic for using the traditional distribution outlets (Bertrams and Amazon). For a trial balloon, Lulu is great because it costs nothing except to order the book. For a private printing - the war stories of my daddy, for example - where the book becomes your Christmas present for all the relatives, Lulu is great. For an out-of-print book being brought back into circulation and priced with no profit, Lulu is great.
LSI. If you are more "professional" in your newbie publishing, LSI is cheaper and much better for getting into the distribution outlets. They also have real human beings - you are given the name of your case manager and her telephone number. This is much better than Lulu where low-knowledge "chat" people give uninformed answers too often. LSI expects you to act like a publisher. Set up a business name, learn the details. In NZ, ISBN numbers are free (you have to send them two copies of the book). You can mail in a CD or DVD to LSI if the manuscript pdf is too large to upload.
With LSI the print quality of the colour photographs appeared to use less ink. The CMYK colour was OK (meaning unlike Lulu it was properly balanced), but not as rich. Also where we used grey text (C0,M0,Y0,K-50%), the text was sufficiently hard to read that we made a revision. While they normally charge for revisions, they waived the fee here. You pay to upload the book, you pay $12 to list it. But per-page, LSI charges substantially less than Lulu and this makes a big difference. When it gets listed on Bertrams, everyone picks it up. If you set a 20% commission, some vendors will ask more than your list price. For POD at this point, LSI is the better choice for the serious person expecting to sell higher numbers of books. We worked out that with the $100 up front fee for LSI vs zero for Lulu, we had to sell over 75 books before LSI started becoming cheaper. We expect to, thus LSI is the best choice.
Kyodo - 1,500 books puts our project in a different league than the LSI route. We have our own market for the book and expect to sell this number in a matter of months. Hardbound with a full colour dust jacket, signed first edition, and we are charging less than the softbound copy listed on Amazon. That's because we pay 1/4 of the production price. The downside is the 1.5 ton, 4 cubic meter (about 4 cubic yards) pallet that we must receive and store while we sell cartons at a time. Should our international market catch fire and lots of orders come in, LSI can supply all the orders Amazon gets. If we only had our Kyodo inventory we could be out of print for weeks or months. Thus LSI becomes an important backup for us. With LSI, the production cost is about 40% of the book. Then the 20% commission ups that to 60%, we net 40% of the price. With Kyodo we keep about 85% but have to sell the books directly, handle orders, money, etc. In our case this works, because we bring the books to presentations and the sale is personal. But it does require a substantial outlay ($12,000) and a lot of handling.
We looked at BookSurge and said no. We need POD at the cheapest price, not extra's.
Bottom line. If you can afford Adobe's Creative Suite and learn to create a more professional manuscript, it's worth it. The more print-ready you are the better.
For the trial version, use Lulu. All it will cost you is the print and ship.
When you think you have a live one, go to LSI. They will keep your production cost lower than Lulu (although the colour images will be weaker). They let you set a lower commission (note that 20% of our price is still $12... and from the retailer's point of view, $12 is more commission than the list price of many books they distribute). They get the book on the retail lists including Amazon.
When you are ready to bring out a serious book, meaning you expect to sell it in the thousands, a conventional book printing company is the way to go. It costs less, produces higher quality and allows a proper hardbound book. But keep LSI as well.
Registered: July 30, 2004
| Posted Oct 08, 2007 at 08:36 AM||Reply with quote #8 |
|LSI is https://www.lightningsource.com/|
Can anyone recommend a contact there?
Visit Author-Me.com today!
Registered: Oct 07, 2007
| Posted Oct 08, 2007 at 01:43 PM||Reply with quote #9 |
Contact is not necessary. Enrol and a contact is assigned to you. Three actually... sales, technical and billing.
Registered: Sept 21, 2007
| Posted Oct 16, 2007 at 12:31 AM||Reply with quote #10 |
|Dear Book Writing Friends,|
My lastest experiences publishing are now posted on my publishing page at
Here's a synopsis:
I recently finished publishing a book with LightningSurge after disastrous results with BookSurge and So-so results with LULU.
As previously noted-- Lulu is great when you sell on Lulu Marketplace (their own site), but completely inappropriate, and not at all practical if you go retail- their costs are just too high and your take-home profit will be very marginal.
I tried for FIVE WEEKS to get my illustrated black and white interior book published through BookSurge-- to very disappointing results. Not only do they make their submissions very difficult, but if you have illustrations, they don't even give you the correct instructions-- and it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to submit your book to meet their guidelines following their guide. I've noted this on my website with the missing pieces they leave out at http://www.neilslade.com/myown3.html
When I finally got my proof back from Booksurge, it look terrible-- printing smudges throughout and the images, despite their submission guidelines, despite me finally adjusting to meet their guidelines- the images looked dreadful. Initially Booksurge was tempting because they promised a flat 25% royalty from retail sales- but after seeing the book they made, I wouldn't sell their version for anything.
Finally I returned to LightningSource, the original contact I had coming from a friend who self-published a book on Medical School Entrance Exams. I didn't go with them because BookSurge promised a higher royalty, and gave you an ISBN with your setup fee. In the end, the Lightning Source Royalty was actually nearly 30% of the retail-- MORE than BookSurge. I make just over $5 on a $15.95 retail book.
This isn't as much as a Lulu Marketplace royalty (nearly 50%), but Lightning Source gets me a listing on Amazon-- and that's the strategy here. Many Lulu Marketplace customers don't buy on Lulu, they go to Amazon after they see a book on Lulu. And, Amazon, even though I really hate this-- people are conditioned and programmed to buy stuff there-- the audience and market is huge. So the experiment for the next few months after my book is listed on Amazon, is to see if this causes a dramatic increase in sales beyond what my excellent sales on my own web site create http://www.EasyPaintYourCar.com
also see http://www.lulu.com/neilslade
The trick for making LightningSource a bit easier is this:
1) Follow the Lulu instructions for embedding fonts and making a robust PDF file.
(The instructions are also on my page http://www.neilslade.com/myown3.html i.e.,
create your book, then convert to PDF using Adobe DISTILLER)
2) Submit your book to Lulu with DISTRIBUTION for retail. This costs you $50, but you get an ISBN that belongs to YOU (Don't choose the LULU Distribution where THEY own the ISBN).
3) You can create your cover art easily with any program, and submit separate front and back covers. Lulu will then create a SPINE for you. You can also use the Lulu generic cover designs if you are incapable of doing cover graphics.
This is a bit easier than making a "one piece cover" (front, back, and spine together). LULU will actually place your ISBN on the back cover- nice! After they do this, they create a one piece cover with spine lettering that you can then download to your own computer, then upload to LightningSource. NEAT!
LightningSource CAN USE THE SAME ISBN than you bought from LULU (providing you were smart and got the $50 package where YOU are assigned the ISBN.)
4) After Lulu Makes the one piece cover and gives you the ISBN, then CANCEL the project (delete project), but upload all the stuff to LighningSource. It will cost you a little over $100 for the submission and the proof, although this may vary some with the book length.
5) You may save all the information, and then republish a new revision on LULU using the files already uploaded on your LULU account, but ONLY sell on Lulu Marketplace, and get more royalties if you sell there, and also get more web coverage and another search engine result by also being on LULU.
Registered: Dec 09, 2007
| Posted Dec 09, 2007 at 07:27 PM||Reply with quote #11 |
|BOTTOM LINE: Whatever you do, do NOT publish at BOOKSURGE. It is a pain and (in the short-run as well as the long-run) outrageously expensive! They will make more mistakes that you can count (including pricing, royalty, affiliate etc.) and that will hurt you not only financially but also your reputation when your customers see that the prices are changing everyday for your books. I don't know why things are so bad with them, but based on my experience and everyone I personally know who has published through BookSurge, we all were left feeling pissed off by their lack of customer service, lack of responsiveness, and lack of interest in helping their authors succeed. They are only committed to one thing: short-term profits for themselves rather than building long-term mutually rewarding relationships with their authors (and customers!). After all the negative comments, feedback and remarks, you would think they would improve, but what is weird is that they have only gotten worse. Very unfortunate, because their basic business model was good (close relationship with amazon.com), but their execution has been terrible. From what I hear this has to do with the leadership (founders/owners/ceo) of the company, but I do not know this for a fact. All I know that the ceo could not give a damn when I complained about getting ripped off by his salesperson. Neither he nor his salesperson had the courtesy to apologize or to clear up the misunderstanding (if there was one). They could not care less, and as a result they lost me and about 4 other people who I personally know who were looking at BookSurge vs others. Where did we all go after BookSurge? We ended up going to different POD publishers (some of which have been listed here) as a result of this horrifying experience. While none of them are perfect, at least we get treated with respect and are not finding ourselves with poor quality books (incorrect types/fonts, poor binding, terrible paper etc.) as we did with some of our BookSurge experiences.|
Registered: April 05, 2008
| Posted April 05, 2008 at 02:21 PM||Reply with quote #12 |
|Dear Book Writing Friends. Thank you Neil, for describing your POD experiences with BookSurge: incorrect types/fonts, poor binding, terrible paper etc. Your writing style is clear, insightful, and informative. I intend to refer to these points during an upcoming conference call with them. |
For three years, I wrote a wine column for 17 local newspapers in northern New Jersey and had an excellent relationship with my editor. Since 2001, I have published wine reviews on my own site and today have authored over 500 stories about tasting events, films, and music, (with photographs) as well as wine reviews. Like vintage wine, automobiles, and boats, this is my baby .... I sell other people's books.
Concerning a legal thriller that I am writing (without illustrations) and after many years researching publishing companies, I have entered into talks with BookSurge. "Everyday is a winding road" and we'll see where this road leads soon enough. Best regards. Darlene Dranda, WineScoop.com
Registered: Oct 11, 2006
| Posted April 09, 2008 at 03:04 PM||Reply with quote #13 |
|Hi Folks since I first wrote of my experiences publishing with Booksurge back in November 2006 much has happened. Today the only positive thing I can say is the quality of my books have remained good. Royalties are something else! and there is no help with problems concerning same. They recently increased the royalty payment from 25% to 35% and one might think thats a good think. But bear in mind its nearly impossible to track sales online and if you miss a royalty the percentage doesn't matter. Last fall (Oct 2007) I sold two books thru amazon.co.uk but never received the royalty payment. I inquired of customer service and was told amazon uk must have got the books from another supplier. A couple of weeks ago a friend told me he had purchased my book online at amazon.ca Again no royalty! when I asked customer service was told they didn't deal with amazon.ca???? Booksurge is a part of amazon and I assume amazon is the same company whether its com. co.uk or ca. I have a booksurge contact person but what her job is alludes me, when I complain to her she just passes me off to customer service saying she isn't trained in royalty payments, in other words she passes the buck. I have heard similiar complaints from other authors who are in the same boat, sadly there is nothing any of us can do about this except to advise "Do not use booksurge"|
Registered: April 14, 2008
| Posted April 14, 2008 at 06:12 AM||Reply with quote #14 |
|Thank you all for such great information. Unfortunately, I'm still confused! I have a manuscript for a mystery novel, and I've grown weary of the endless wait for the inevitable rejection letter from potential agents and/or publishers... it's the old problem: you can't get a job without experience, and vice versa. I have no publishing contacts. Because I really do believe in my book and my characters, I've been thinking about self-publishing (and taking the promotion in hand as well). However, I don't even know where to start...|
Booksurge looks like they make it idiot-proof (for a fee - which I'm somewhat willing to pay, as long as I view my writing as a "hobby," but I don't want to get completely hosed either), but there are so many negative comments about Booksurge on this board. Lulu, LSI, etc. What would you guys recommend? I have the manuscript as a Word document, not a print-ready PDF, and I'm not the most computer-savvy person in the world (although I'm in advertising, so I could probably get some help there if I needed to). Also, I don't have a cover - should I "commission" one, do you think? And how much should I expect to pay? (There are no illustrations in the book, by the way - it's straight text.)
Finally, I know that self-publishing is only the first step. There's also setting up and maintaining a website... something else I've never done. Words of wisdom? Any and all thoughts are most welcome - thanks in advance!
Registered: July 30, 2004
| Posted April 14, 2008 at 07:32 AM||Reply with quote #15 |
I understand your frustration.
You might want to start with a "test marketing" version of your book, for free, at lulu.com. All you need is the 6 by 9 inch Word file (please convert - not too hard with text) and a bit of patience. They can offer you 30 or 40 background templates or, for a fee, you could ask a graphic designer to prepare you a cover at 300+ dpi in jpg format, leaving some extra room for bleed - 6.125 by 9.25 inches in size. Lulu will make you an attractive web page and preview, which would approximate your website. And you set your price and profit, which (if you have sales) lulu pays monthly. For marketing and advertising, I'd recommend that you consult Patricia Fry at PLFry620@yahoo.com
Best of luck! Do let us know how it works out.
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