So they’re at it again. Selling services that do little more than raise the hopes of many and line their bank accounts. They literally just got spanked by JK Rowling (see the entire mess at the AW Water Cooler) and took the advertisement down because the implication was that this “publisher” has a relationship, when, in fact, they don’t. But nonetheless, they were going to charge their authors $49 to write a wee blurb.
So fresh on the heels of their latest smack-down, they are now offering authors to part with $79 to have Ms. Magazine review their works. What saddens me is that a percentage of their authors will partake of this black hole, which will do nothing but swell this publisher’s bank account.
I have to wonder how they justify this fee. We submit our books to magazines for review all the time. Know what authors pay for that? Nada. Zip. Bupkiss. Niente. Zero. And it’s not just because I’m all fuzzy nice. It’s simply the art of doing business. We put a lot of money into each title, so it makes sense to maximize our investment by getting it seen by anyone and everyone.
The trick to this is that there is no guarantee Ms. Magazine (or any other magazine we submit to) will read or accept our book for review. They get hundreds of these requests every month, so it’s all a crap shoot. They’re looking for a big topic that will appeal to their readers. Real publishers pay attention to a magazine’s target readership and submit accordingly.
But what this publisher has done is a) not take Ms. Magazine’s target audience into consideration and will, therefore, submit any and all who paid their submission fee, and b) they haven’t told their authors any of this, and c) they haven’t justified why authors should pay $80 to have their sent to a magazine.
So why am I wasting my breath with these people? Because I attended two conferences in as many weeks, and ran into a handful of authors who gave their books to this publisher. Some were very proud of this fact and were shocked to find out the real story behind that company. Others had learned the hard way that their books were sent down the rabbit hole, never to be seen or read by anyone other than those they personally sold.
This company is a prime example of how publishing is not done. They have long called themselves “traditional,” and I maintain that just because they say something doesn’t make it so. Real publishers don’t charge their authors to market and promote their books. They don’t sell their books at vastly inflated prices – $29.95 for a 300 page book, for example – and they don’t threaten their authors with tone letters if they dare to ask questions.
Take a page from this publisher and do the exact opposite. This is not “traditional” publishing.
Edited to add:
If you want to see all the other “offers” this company has, click on this link and scroll down. All of these fees they’re passing to their authors are normal fees that real publishers assume. This is like ordering a la carte off a menu…