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Why did you go with PublishAmerica, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, or another publisher that you had to pay? Did you try other methods first? A traditional publisher, a small press, etc. Tell us what motivated you to use one of these often-talked about publishers!

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Hello Dan,
I'm following up on your post from January 25th. Has your book been published yet? So far, what is your feedback on AuthorHouse? Would you use their services again? I am also a first time author and used AuthorHouse to self-publish my book, A Career in Language Translation (ISBN 978-1-4389-4422-7 (SC); 978-1-4389-4423-4 (HC) ). I had a nice experience with them, however, I am finding their marketing packages to be on the expensive end and as you know, it's a challenge to do all the marketing yourself. I plan on writing a second book soon, and am trying to explore all avenues for publishing. I would love to hear about your experience with them and how you are marketing your book, if it's already published.

Carline Férailleur-Dumoulin
Author: A Career in Language Translation
I researched the publishing industry: Agents, Pods, name it. I went the route of letters to agents (I picked three) as an initial thrust and waited for their rejections...which I exected. Dealt with an overseas (UK) publisher just to test it out. Dealt with Publish Amer, Xlibris, Athena, name it and I probably researched it. What I wanted was to be able to pick a publisher that I could purchase the services from that I needed. I noted the consolidation of the POD industry (Authorhouse/Iuniverse) and noted some astuteness with the consolidation. I questioned the inside people in AH and got the answers I needed. I didn't want boxes of books in my garage or trips to the post office. I wanted to be able to first, set up a distribution system (which I've done) and then create a timeline that would give me approx six months of "grassroots marketing," four months with some overlap for regional marketing and with overlapping of another four months of national/international marketing. I've been able to place my book "Sleeper Cell" (coming out next month) on all the book selling sites (check out google: Ralph L. McNeal, Sr. - Sleeper Cell. I'm now beginning to set up the mass market for distribution, i.e. Nexcom, AAFES, (the military) which my marketing rep knows nothing about. I've dealt with them B/4 earlier in my career. When my book becomes "alive" next month I will sample it where I think it should go and give one to my clubs and associations for a meeting raffle or distribution. Whether I switch after this experience with AH remains to be seen. It depends on how they deliver upon my expectations. Again, I picked them because I wanted a publisher that could deliver the services that I needed and had an overseas subsidiary operation and had employees to back them (over 350). I have a vision of grandeur that I may be able to do something internationally with my writings. I had to fight for the cover that I wanted. For each of my novels, (three to be written this year) I visualize a concept cover. My first concept cover was not visualized by AH...they sent me what they thought the cover should look like. After three rejections and picking out the things that I needed, they finally agreeded and I got the cover I wanted. This is on the old basis of maketing ratio of 96-4 (96 is what you see, the other 4 is based on feel, taste, touch and smell), I will purchase the other services that I need from AH, i.e the marketing package, PR package, book signing package. My due diligence reflected that people purchase books more on a referral or impromptu basis. My next objective is to get some book reviews lined up. I want to "bootstrap" this first book.
I got a copy of Mark Levine's excellent book THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING (The Contracts & Services of 48 Self-Publishing Companies - Analyzed, Ranked and Exposed)
(ISBN 1-933538-56-2)
I found Mark's work to be very helpful in selecting a publisher to work with.
I went with INFINITY PUBLISHING and have had a positive experience.
Now, the challenge is marketing the book on my own little lonesome.
Hollis -

I too, have terrific respect for Mark Levine's research. I almost opted for Infinity - they do have a very good reputation. But when I spoke with all three managing partners at Dog Ear, I knew that was how I wanted to go.

For the record, Dog Ear does not pay out "royalties" of a few percentage points. If your book costs $5.00 to print & ship, and you charge $15.00 - you get $10 per sale. Very impressive. For my $2100. investment, I got a website; a pretty fair marketing effort; 500 press releases out; "Look Inside" features on Amazon & fReado; LSI printing, Baker & Taylor & Ingram distribution. Excellent Customer Service with no crummy surprises. The website comes with a "shopping cart" feature and popped up all over Google within 4 days.

If this helps I'm happy to share it: I'm finding internet radio a fairly easy nut to crack, when it comes to getting telephone interviews. check out: and then look for somebody who does a show that parallels your subject matter. They always need conversation.

Also, I'm finding independent book stores very accomodating.

Best of luck out there.
I agree, RYCJ! Hearing from authors that have gone the traditional route, I'd rather do the work and keep the biggest portion of royalties. My second book, Touches From The Beyond, will be coming out as soon as my graphic artist is done with the cover. I, too, have learned so much from my first book, Lies, In a Season of Tribulation. The cost of that hardcover, set by the publisher, was ridiculous. I published it myself in ebook and sales are so much better. This time I will set the price and hopefully it will have a better chance at sales than the first did. It is exciting times in the publishing industry. I do believe self publishing is the way to go. I like the feeling of being the master of my own book's destiny.
I went with xlibris for my first book because I wanted to see it in print right away. For my second book, I went with Publish America. This was the biggest mistake I could have ever made. I got nowhere with my sales, Romance Writers of America doesn't recognize them and they don't pay good royalties. I have tried for my third book to get with a regular publisher, but I was told by one e-buplisher that because I am a black author, it wouldn't fit into their catalogue. They sell to white readers and whites don't read black books. I am still trying. I have sent it to simultaneous publisher and I am still waiting for a reply. It takes three months for an answer with the ones I have submitted to. I write novellas and its tough out here for black authors.
I grabbed this information from KL Brady's Indie Publishing on the cheap. Click here for her blog

Well, as the cheap indie author, I selected: Lightning Source, TextStream, and Createspace. Why? Because I wanted to be able to offer my book to bookstores while maintaining maximum control over pricing, discounts, and returnability.

I had complete control over my cover design. With many full service PODs, they use templates and stock photos that make your book look "self-published."
I have the technical savvy to set up my own files.
I hired my own editors and got a better perspective because I used someone directly from the publishing industry. With those services, you don't know the professional history of the editors that work on your book.
I could offer returnability at no cost, something most companies charge $699
I designed my own book interior (Design Wizard - $37--Google it)
I controlled my own pricing--for free. Most do not allow you to set your own price. I went to the bookstore, checked out the prices on books similar to mine, and set the price accordingly.
I can set my own wholesale discount for FREE; this allowed me to set a standard wholesale discount.
Createspace is an Amazon company, so they take the lowest discount for Amazon sales (40%); Through anyone else they usually require 55%. So by using Createpace, I'm keeping more royalty.

by: KL Brady, author of The Bum Magnet
Oh, also consider they do market their small publishers books to bookstores.

First of all, the three you mention don't have good reps.  I know authors who have had bad experiences with them, also Outskirts.  In particular, you should avoid their marketing packages like the plague.

I've had good luck with Infinity when I was still doing POD.  Now that I'm just doing ebooks, I use an OEM formatter and cover artist.  That's what works best for me...complete control!


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