Friday, November 18, 2011

Pay to E-Pub...Seriously?!?!

If you're like me and have aspired to write (or better, you've actually gotten the job done) you've done the homework, read the "how-to" books and followed any of a multitude of trade mag's and websites on the subject.

This one has to be up there as one of the oldest professions.

"Pay me to get you published!!!" 

They've been out there forever in many forms; pay services and so-called agent's and editors. Whole websites are devoted to outing them.

And here's the latest, surprisingly enough, from Penguin owned Book Country. Heard it first from JA Konrath here

This is just a sample from their pricing page:

Books sold via wide distribution are subject to fees charged by the individual distributors. Books sold this way will earn the same percentage rate as those sold on the Book Country site, but those rates will be based on the amount actually received by Book Country minus the fees charged by the individual distributor. These fees are generally 30% of the price of the eBook and about 50% for a print book.

Here is an example of the difference in earnings if selling on Book Country versus Amazon:
For a $2.99 eBook sale on Book Country, the author is entitled to $2.09.
For a $2.99 eBook sale of a Book Country title on Amazon, Amazon takes $0.90 and then the author is entitled to $1.47.

So, to overview: you get LESS from e-pubbing through Book Country than you do publishing on your own and mind you these are their Royalties they're talking about...the money your book earns FOREVER! 

And this is in addition to their steep initial fees!

And in return? In essence, under the different (horrifically overpriced) packages you're getting book formatting, uploading and "tips" on marketing
Here's a very thorough overview of what you're getting (not much) over at David Gaughran's page here

This service is presented with all the refinery that a skilled corporate PR and/or Marketing department can deliver. Professional legitimacy oozes off the web page as the skill of their experienced professionals are promoted.

Folks, read any one of a hundred popular blogs from independent e-pub authors. Formatting, while potentially tricky and sometimes BY FAR one of the easiest part of the whole process. Especially so when compared to the actually writing, editing and promoting of your own book.

The uploading itself is easier still (it's nicknamed "pushing the button" for a reason) and "tips and tricks" are available, for free, (from the biggest names in independent e-publishing) widespread on webpages and blogs-a-plenty. These are the poeple that have done it and made it the "hot new trend" you've been hearing about.

Penguins experienced marketing professionals, respectfully, have been watching the real trailblazers and experts from the sidelines all while the traditional publishing world has discounted and debased the indie community.

But now that e-pub sales are overtaking paper they want to charge you to join in. And they're charging a lot!

In short, it's clear to anyone whose spent five minutes researching independent publishing that Penguin (under the guise of Book Country, a site to help new writers, which they plainly own) is promoting the validation of the legendary Penguin publishing house...for  a steep fee. Without actually providing any legitimate publishing service of worth.


Making money publishing in any form is tough enough. Don't make it tougher by giving away your earnings for virtually nothing in return.

Good times


  1. It is disappointing that a reputable company would do this. Most formatters can do the job for around $200 or less - and they don`t take royalties from your book.

    Hopefully the word will spread quickly enough to new writers so that they can avoid this scam.

  2. Wow...another poster, lol.

    Thanks, I think you're number 3. My Blog's moving right along.

    I have a lot to add to the BC discussion, there was a PW article that divulged some pretty damning info when it was first released earlier this year. The free-online "community" was part of the fleecing project from day one.

    DW Smith has a pretty good tirade on it among some other things.

    If you follow DW Smith (and everyone should, his wife too) It's interesting; DW and Joe constantly reference each other, positively, but have radically different views on the traditional houses, their future and that if writers should pursue them.

    Would love to see them debate their different views.

  3. Yes, it would be an interesting debate for sure!

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