1. Patrick Horsington

    Patrick Horsington New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Publishers- how to choose?

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Patrick Horsington, Jan 16, 2019.

    Hi all,

    First post, looking forward to contributing to the forum. I am a new writer and have drafted a book 'Money lessons left at the school gate'. It is a book to help young people invest and manage their money. I have been fortunate enough to have to offers to publish. However they are both partner published. These are the proposals I was offered:

    Book Guild:

    1700 GBP put forward by me
    3000 put forward by BG

    300 copies printed
    Marketing
    Copy editing
    Front cover designed
    Formatting
    40% commision paid to author

    Novum Publishing

    Proof reading
    Illustration
    Printing books
    Marketing
    Front cover design
    Formatting
    20% commission paid to author
    3,000 to 8,000 GBP (depending on option chosen)

    Would love to hear your thoughts on which option I should choose if any? I also would be interested to hear whether or not as a new publisher paying towards the publication is common procedure?

    Thanks for any help.

    Paddy
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,665
    Both sound like scams to me. IF they were able to offer really effective marketing, then maybe (MAYBE) they'd be worth it, but the marketing I've seen from companies like these is not good. Not effective. So you're spending a lot of money on something and not getting much return. You can get most of what these companies are offering in terms of editing, cover design, and formatting for a lot less money just by approaching editors and designers yourself, and you can produce POD books in much smaller order sizes to avoid having too much invested before you start selling. And if you go through Amazon, your royalties will be higher than what you'd get from either of these companies.
     
    deadrats and Catrin Lewis like this.
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    15,569
    Likes Received:
    18,527
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    yep scammy as a scammy thing - in a trad deal money should flow to you from them not the other way round, if you are self publishing then they are a services company not your publisher (and that's damned expensive - you should be able to get a book out for not much more than a grand, possibly less)

    I'm not sure about book guild, but novum are a notorious vanity second only to austin mcauley

    (incidentally I've moved this to publisher discussion - the book discussion forum is for discussing books by other people)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    deadrats and Catrin Lewis like this.
  4. lactiferousducKs

    lactiferousducKs Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    North Dublin
    i refuse to even try publishing (even tho my writing sux)

    my writing is cybernetic & 4 F R E E
     
  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    15,569
    Likes Received:
    18,527
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    What the hell is cybernetic writing ? Do you mean online ?
     
  6. lactiferousducKs

    lactiferousducKs Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    North Dublin
    enter the matrix :cool:
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    I agree that they both sound like scams.

    If you're going to self publish, self publish. Do the work yourself, or pay someone to do it with you as the boss. Pay the expenses yourself. Don't give away your rights.

    That doesn't mean I think you should self publish. It just means that if you're going to go the quick route that you have control over, actually have that control, instead of paying someone for the privilege of also giving them some of your rights.

    Or you could go the route where someone pays YOU for some of your rights--traditional publishing. Have you tried submitting this book to any conventional agents or traditional publishers?
     
    deadrats likes this.
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    10,209
    Location:
    London, UK
    deadrats likes this.
  9. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    Norfolk
    This is going to sound horrible, but any publisher that asks for your money doesn't necessarily like your book - they like the money you're giving them. If a publisher is seriously interested in your work they won't ask for a thing from you except the work. This is a very broad view obviously but be very careful even thinking about paying for your own publishing.

    ETA: this doesn't apply to self-publishing, you may well have to pay for that. But as somebody already said there are ways of self-publishing properly without spending as much as these two publishers are asking for. Avoid vanity press.
     
    deadrats and jannert like this.
  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    10,209
    Location:
    London, UK
    Don't feel the need to caveat; you're completely correct. 'Publishers' expecting authors to pay them are either scams or hopelessly incompetent. Both types have the same result: you lose the rights to your book, potentially forever, and you will make the same kind of sales you would have made self-publishing but only get half the royalties.
     
    deadrats likes this.
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    15,569
    Likes Received:
    18,527
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    in fact you make substantially less than what you'd have made self publishing ...
     
    deadrats and Catrin Lewis like this.
  12. Patrick Horsington

    Patrick Horsington New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for all the responses. Please could I have some suggestions for traditional publishers? I thought the one's I had applied to were classed as 'traditional' but the more research I do, the less this seems to be the case.



    QUOTE="ChickenFreak, post: 1739262, member: 16328"]I agree that they both sound like scams.

    If you're going to self publish, self publish. Do the work yourself, or pay someone to do it with you as the boss. Pay the expenses yourself. Don't give away your rights.

    That doesn't mean I think you should self publish. It just means that if you're going to go the quick route that you have control over, actually have that control, instead of paying someone for the privilege of also giving them some of your rights.

    Or you could go the route where someone pays YOU for some of your rights--traditional publishing. Have you tried submitting this book to any conventional agents or traditional publishers?[/QUOTE]
     
  13. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,665
    Some basic background is at https://www.writingforums.org/threads/so-you-wrote-a-novel-and-want-to-get-it-published.148510/. This is for novels, not non-fiction, but a lot of the steps will be the same.
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    10,209
    Location:
    London, UK
    Your book is non-fiction self-help, right?

    I'm not familiar with the non-fiction market, but a cursory search suggests it's the same as fiction in that you need an agent to get into the very best publishers ("best" meaning ones who will sell the most copies of your book). I would definitely start there, because if you don't find an agent to represent you, you can still submit to the smaller publishers. In publishing, it's best to start at the top and work down.

    To find reputable agents, the best thing is to sign up to Publisher's Marketplace. There you can look at the top #100 agents in making non-fiction deals (you will need to pay for a month's membership to do this, which I think is $25). Then you'll need to go to each agent's website and find their submission guidelines.

    You can also do it the old-fashioned way, by Googling agencies and then researching each of them individually, but it will take a long time. Like publishers, there are scam "agents" out there who won't be able to sell your book.

    One important thing to mention is that platform is really important for non-fiction, unlike in fiction. If you don't have much of an online presence or a 'following', you may not be able to get a good publishing deal. In that case, you would still be better off self-publishing than going with a vanity publisher - in either case you'll have to get all your sales on your own, so there's no use giving away royalties to a vanity publisher.

    But start with agents, then publishers that take unagented material, and then consider whether to self-publish.
     
    BayView likes this.
  15. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,135
    Likes Received:
    1,305
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Consider a publisher's business model.

    --If it appears that they make money from selling services to authors? Not so good. Strongly consider avoiding.
    --If it appears that they make money from selling books to readers? Good. Consider that positive, but look further before sending a manuscript (see what others discussed above).
     
  16. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    15,569
    Likes Received:
    18,527
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
  17. Patrick Horsington

    Patrick Horsington New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the informative response Tenderiser. I must admit Book Guild is coming across well so far. I have contacted 3 authors who have recent released a book with them and they have been very positive saying that they have got their books into the top retailers, been very professional with the services they promised and supportive in promoting their books. The big alarm bell for me (as people rightly say) is the cost. I will look into these other publishers. I think I will use BG as a back up if none of the others bite after all I would struggle to get into these distribution channels without the help of BG, however I imagine with the likes of Amazon and Google for self publishing it is still possible to make sales.

    My book would be classed as Non fiction, self help. I don't have much of a platform/ presence yet and this is something I am trying to build up, but it is no where near the numbers they would be looking for.

    Paddy



     
  18. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    No. No. No.

    Edited to add: did you get documented sales and earnings numbers from those authors?
     
    deadrats likes this.
  19. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,665
    Maybe check with authors who've had the books out longer, so they have a better idea of sales over time.

    Otherwise... live and learn.
     
    deadrats likes this.
  20. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    Good point. “Recently” isn’t informative.
     
    deadrats likes this.
  21. Patrick Horsington

    Patrick Horsington New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very good points. I will search further back. The honest feedback is much appreciated.

     
  22. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    10,209
    Location:
    London, UK
    Paddy, you can get your book into top e-retailers for free. I hear it's particularly easy using a site called draft2digital. And, of course, if you get a real publisher, they will do it all for you - for free. Please believe me that you will NOT struggle to get into any of the retailers BG uses. Everything they do is available to the general public. There are also retailers that AREN'T available to you or BG but ARE available to real publishers - i.e. bookshops.

    Real publishers make their money from selling books to readers.

    Scam publishers make their money from selling "services" to authors. Services that the authors can get for free.

    Will you do two things for me?

    1. Go into your local bookshop/s and see if you can find a single BG book on the shelves. If you can't, ask yourselves how readers are going to find your BG book.

    2. Go to this site: http://www.salesrankexpress.com/ Look up sales rankings for BG's new non-fiction releases. Bear in mind these rankings are for Amazon.com, the biggest e-retailer of books in the world. Also bear in mind that most books will rank highest upon their release, and then slowly slide down the rankings before levelling out or disappearing into oblivion.

    I just did it and these are the results:
    • Rooster Smith, Forgotten Souls - No rank (this book has not sold a single copy and was published in November 2018)
    • David Happold, Africa from East to West - #1,720,216 (one copy sold, published in October 2018)
    • Chris Knowles, Notes for Singers - No rank (this book has not sold a single copy and was published in November 2018)
    • Adrian Leak, Archbishop Benson's Humming Top - No rank (this book has not sold a single copy and was published in October 2018
    Then do the same for a real non-fiction publisher. I chose Ebury, which is a non-fiction imprint of Penguin RandomHouse.
    • Yotam Ottolenghi, Ottolenghi Simple - #647 (selling hundreds of books a DAY and was published in September 2018)
    • The Hubb Community Kitchen, Together - #5,593 (selling around 150 books a week, published in September 2018)
    • Paul Jarvis, Company of One - #2,501 (selling around 250 books a week, released three days ago)
    • Clemantine Wamariya, The Girl Who Smiled Beads - #10,499 (selling around 100 books a week, published a week ago)
    I noticed while I was on Ebury's site that I bought one of their books yesterday - Educated by Tara Westover. It was recommended to me by a friend and has almost 20,000 reviews on Goodreads alone. I've never seen or heard about a single Book Guild book.

    Which list do you want Patrick Horsington appearing on?
     
    deadrats and ChickenFreak like this.
  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    15,569
    Likes Received:
    18,527
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    I'd also note that you can get your books into the top retailers for free yourself if you self publish - all the e retailers accept direct submissions or through aggregators like draft to digital as tenderiser mentions or publishdrive (or smashwords although I don't use them)... with print books you can get into all the usual catalogues through Ingram spark.

    I'm not saying you should self publish - what I'm saying is that BG are taking money for things you could easily do yourself

    If you go with book guild or any vanity you will have to do your own marketing if you want to get any sales... and if you are going to do your own marketing you may as well self publish and save money, and not have to share your royalties.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    deadrats likes this.
  24. Patrick Horsington

    Patrick Horsington New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for all your informative responses. I will certainly be following up the avenues suggested (particularly Tenderiser)>

    Paddy
     
  25. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,637
    Likes Received:
    3,844
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Just for jollies, as a singer myself I looked at the Knowles Notes for Singers book to see what it was like. The cover isn't bad. A bit of the expected, but for non-fiction, that can be good. The problem is that there's no book description, at all, and no way to look inside. Well, it's a paperback, you might say, but I'm pretty sure I've seen paperbacks with a preview activated.

    So without knowing anything about this book, how can anyone, even a person interested in the subject, be expected to shell out the cash and buy it? And if this Book Guild outfit can't even get this right--- ye gods, who forgets to include a book description?--- they aren't coming anywhere close to returning value for money.

    I'm sure the OP has made his decision by now. But I'm throwing this in for those who will be asking the same question hereafter.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice