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How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing : Scams Beware • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

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Linton Robinson
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How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby Linton Robinson » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:38 am

Easiest thing in the world.
If you want to self publish, then publish yourself.

There is really no such thing as a "self publishing company". Think about it.

Don't get involved in vanity presses or subsidy publishers or any of that crap. DON'T pay somebody to "self publish for you". Almost anybody who advertises publishing is running a scam.
Anybody who charges up front to put your book out then keeps any percentage of the sales is a total scam.

Publish your ebooks on Kindle and SmashWords. These are most powerful "stores" for ebooks, easily accomplished even by first-timers, and do not charge a cent for putting your book in ebook form and up for sale.

For print books, your hot setup is probably CreateSpace. Lulu is easier to do for beginners but shaves your profitablity. Many use special capabilities of Lulu such as hardbacks and color photo books. Lightning Source (also called LSI) is the largest POD publisher in the world (and where most POD companies actually produce their books, then mark them up) but is extremely difficult for beginners and one-timers, and will cost around $200 in setup fees and ISBN to put a book out. It's very useful for professional publishers, but not for newbies or people only doing a couple of books.

There is nothing wrong with POD. The use of "POD company" to describe a finance model of vanity/ripoff is inaccurate and harmful. It merely means running books off as ordered, rather than in batches by offset or other print process. Think of it as like Xerox. Unit cost is higher, but you don't have to put in a bunch of startup capital: the customer pays for production.

It really, really is that simple. Do it yourself. Stick to those companies and don't get sold by sharks. If they are coming after you, run. Don't go with people who advertise for writers. (Think about that--advertise for writers????) Don't even THINK about paying anybody who offers to send you a brochure.

Start free accounts with Kindle and CreateSpace and Smashwords and start fooling around and learning.






.

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Elibet1
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby Elibet1 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:52 am

Thanks for the advice Lin. I put together a colorful little poetry book for my family and friends a few years ago. And I did it all at Kinko's for around $3.00 a book.

Thanks for sharing,
Elizabeth

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shadowwalker
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby shadowwalker » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am

Very good advice. Many of the "self-publishing companies" are just older vanity presses trying to re-invent themselves. Even if you hire an editor(s) and/or cover designer, do your homework. Not everyone understands what editors do (or that there is more than one kind) or that designing a cover means knowing about marketing, not just art. Don't throw money away on someone who won't do the job you need done.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

TerryRodgers
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby TerryRodgers » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:31 pm

Good advice Lin. I'm sure there are plenty out there with horror stories. I've seen some on the forums here indicating how much they spent to publish their novel thinking that was the norm. I remember one writer that thought a publisher picked up their novel. They spent more than $5k to get their novel published, then wondered why the novel wasn't in a bookstore. I chalk up mistakes like that to people that are in too much a hurry to be published rather than making sure they are ready which includes researching your options and the industry itself.

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Linton Robinson
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby Linton Robinson » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:32 pm

Then there is the Stone Cold Stupidity Factor.
There was a woman on a forum who dithered around about publishing for months... got all the advice from experienced self publishers.
Suddenly announced that she was to thrilled that she'd been published by a "Christian publishing house". Cost her $10,000. She put her house up on a loan to pay it.






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rosebud
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby rosebud » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:09 pm

Thanks for the advice Lin. I'm almost finished with my first draft of a novel, and thought I'd search out a bit on the publishing aspect of the whole thing before I finished and began editing. My resolution this year is to complete a project and pursue the higher goal of following through to the bittersweet end. Wish me luck. I'll need it. (knees shaking/hands trembling) :D

RebeccaLM
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby RebeccaLM » Wed May 15, 2013 4:22 pm

Great advice, Lin!

I'll keep all this in mind.


Zbeckmann
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby Zbeckmann » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:09 pm

Couldn't agree more Lin. I just went through the self-publishing process and there is absolutely no need to front any costs.

I worked through createspace and they have delivered on putting together a professional product. There were times when I thought about paying a service to format my book for Kindle, but I ended up doing it myself and it turned out fine. There are so many resources available (just like this one) to walk anyone through how to publish, you just need to look.

-

http://www.amazon.com/Kings-Pawns-Zach- ... 624&sr=1-2

zachbeckmann.com

sherry_soule
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby sherry_soule » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:05 pm

Such great advice! Thanks for sharing. :)

Sherry Soule | | | | |

portfigs
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Re: How To Avoid Scams When Self Publishing

Postby portfigs » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:15 pm

Thanks! My husband just finished his first novel, and WestBow Press has called him. They want $4,000, but it sounds fishy. Besides, he has already done most of the steps himself that they are offering. Is this a scam?

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