Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014:Self-Publishing: Avoiding Scams and Hidden Costs

Okay, to be very frank, this week has been frustrating. I feel I have entered the murky waters of the self-publishing world. I was told, not once, but several times by agents and publishers,  "Don't pay anyone to publish your book!" Well, this week I took more time to read all the fine print and details of several self-publishing sites.

Some sites lure you in with a short video telling you to write your book and make a cover and put it on their site.  The hookis  if you want to be distributed  through their largest distribution network, the upgrade has a considerable dollar value.

Other sites "advise you to use their "editors" While others outright charge you to format your document into the distribution format of their choices.

There is the question of the cover. You can slap any cover you want on the site, but it won't make the "premium" catalogue. Some sites just come out and tell you they design the cover and how much it will cost you.

So far, I haven't read anything in "layman's" language about licensing or about copyrights.  It took me three companies to find one that addressed the ISBN number and that company was charging you for it.

My next step was to look for my information about watchdog sites to help self publishers avoid beingscammed. I found this link:
 http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/thumbs-down-agency/
Click on this link, on the right side of the site, you will see "self-publishing," click on that word.  It takes you to a May 2013 blog that lists some of the more recent self-publishing scams. After reading the blogs, I am still frustrated, but grateful I was cautious. My gut instinct of "if it sounds too good, dig deeper, there has to be a catch..." was on high alert.
victims of scams. I found it

So, discouraged, I asked a few author acquaintances their opinions. One was quite positive and gave me encouragement. One didn't like my choice of vendor and told me to look at another one, but didn't give me a reason, why.  The third one told me "you are not a famous person" and suggested I continue to plow through the traditional querying method of publishing houses until I find someone who likes my stories.

Undeterred, I continue my research, meet with my beta readers, my cover designer, and edit my third novel. I will publish in the right time, the right way, with great success.
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