Thursday, March 3, 2011
This Writer's Angst
Yesterday I got an email from the publisher of my book, Renegade Night. As many of you know I've not been too happy with them and yesterday just cranked my anger at them another notch. Publish America is doing away with its discounts. No longer will authors be able to get discounts should they decide to buy their own books which by the way is the only people they seem to be pitching books to. To even have my book at any of their so-called "events", I have to buy copies. I only get a basic 10 percent discount per book I order. That would not be so bad if my book was at an affordable price. My book is not even in hard cover, but in soft cover. My book when it started was 25.99 plus tax. Of course I contacted all sorts of bookstores and many of them were glad to have a local author but unless I consigned copies, the stores would not carry my book because the price points were so high. As of January this year my book went all the way to 35.99 plus tax and shipping costs. I've tried to pass along the discounts to people who were interested and not one person could utilize those discounts. I am very VERY VERY grateful to each and every one who has purchased a copy, however I am so disappointed that the price points are still not affordable and are still high. I checked with other soft cover books that exceed the pages of my book and 96 percent of them are all considerably lower and by independent new authors as well as widely known ones. So now they are discontinuing discounts all together and not lowering the price of books. I don't know what to do at this point. I still try to advertise on here, my facebook and myspace pages, and even through my own website, but it's hard especially with today's economy for me to morally ask people to purchase a soft cover book at 35.99 plus tax and shipping. I find it morally and ethically wrong for Publish America to pitch my book to me to buy(which books I buy of my own I don't get royalties on and I've not seen one dime off any of the books that have been purchased so far)for Publish America to have at these events. Over half the events I have researched to find Publish America is not even a vendor or a part of. Publish America has a legal team and many people have tried to sue them to only be defeated. I was naieve when I signed my contract and I thought even if it was a lousy deal the price points would still be affordable. So I am here to tell anyone who is wanting to write and have their works published DO NOT GO THROUGH PUBLISH AMERICA! There are many more author mills(publishers who utilize practices like Publish America that try to make money off the author instead of trying to market the books to the mass market) out there. Please go to http://writersbeware.com because they have lists of these so called author mill publishers and Publish America is listed. I didn't know that then but I know that now and I want to pass along that information to all of you who might read this. Spread the word! These people are cons and frauds. They will take your work-edited by you and then they copy and paste it to a standard word document and then do a general spell check and not even care that sometimes spell and document check creates more errors. Then they will give you a half ass book cover art that is not original that is just basically from a catalog of clip art and then boost the price so high that no one really is going to buy the book, they will tell you they are going to send press releases to your local media which they do not, and you are going to have a next to impossible time getting book stores as well as libraries to carry your work because of the price. You are the one they are going to pitch the book to and getting customer service help via the publishing department is like trying to get water from a rock. I've tried, I wouldn't say this just to be disgruntled over the lack of sales-I'm telling you this because it's been my experience. I have saved every email from them and none of them is how to get my book out there unless I buy copies of my own book. No other legit publisher does this. They want to make money and whether they are an E-publisher or a book publisher they are going to circulate your book. That is one reason why it is so hard to find a literary agent or legit publisher because they are going to do what it takes to get your book out there and on shelves or computer screens. They are going to be there with you through every step of the way and are not going to ask you to buy your own book because they know that is not your job it's their job as publishers. I don't know how to get the ball rolling on getting these parasites out of a job, and I've written to Maryland's Attorney General, Govenor, and Better Buisness Bureau to have it fall on deaf ears. I am not going to give up but that's where I'm at with my book. So my plan is to keep on writing and creating and hopefully one day get picked up by a legit publisher/or literary agent. They are out there and they want your submissions but you have to be good! You have to have that spark that when an editor looks at your work, they are enveloped in your story within the first few pages. It's got to be something unique and something they know they can market. That's why it's so hard to get published. Many best selling authors will tell you that it took them years and alot of hard work. I'm willing to do the hard work and take the time but I'm not wasting no more time with Publish America and other author mills. I'm not going to let something that I've poured my blood,sweat, and tears and have this happen twice. You should not let it happen even once! I still refuse to self-publish my work because I want the prestige of being chosen by a legit publisher/agent, but if self publishing is right for you, then do it! It may mean you have to do most of the leg work yourself but self publish with a place like Lulu publishing that is not going to cost you out of pocket. Know the genre your writing for. I write paranormal romance but I also write other things such as poetry(Which I'm not having published), children's stories, contemporary literature, and whatever else comes into my mind. I feel like I'm a painter and some days I'm painting landscapes and other days I'm like Dali; a surrealist. Somedays I feel a bit Rembrant and then there are times when Van Gough, Picasso, or even Warhol. It just depends on what picture comes into my mind at the time. I am no where near Dickens, Bronte, Kenyon, or Poe but I think I'm going to get there. I get an idea or inspiration for a story, it plays in my mind like a slow reel movie before I put it to paper or my canvas. I do alot of erasing and painting over and by the time its done, I have to stand back and look at it to make sure that the words I've painted flow and create the story that's in my mind. Writing for me is a passion-it's something that was always very private and it takes alot for me to entrust someone else to see it, but in the end I have to like what I've written. If I wouldn't read it, I know no one else would. I am my own worst critic. So when you read Renegade Night or anything else I've written and put out there, you should know that it has came from the very depths of my soul and I've put 100% into it. You may not like it and that's okay, but you will know that I've put everything I have and more into it. So to have some place like Publish America basically rip it to shreds, it's like driving a knife into my heart and I don't want that to happen to anyone. So for my fellow aspiring writers, and those crazy people out there like me that has this driving ambition, never give up and never surrender but be wary of who you choose to take the reigns of your dream. So keep writing,drawing, painting or whatever it is that is in your soul to do! Just beware of those leeches out there that lie in wait to bastardize your hard work.