September 24, 2008
Hidden Pricing + Upselling Book Doctoring Services + Hidden/No Online Bookstore = A POD Publisher to AVOID! By Angela Hoy | printable version
Sometimes I read stuff online that makes my blood boil. I'm serious. My face gets red and my heart starts pounding because I get SO MAD!
Here's an example.
A Booklocker author sent me this note over the weekend:
I saw an article in the local paper that one of their staff writers had recently published a book through somebody called [name of POD publisher removed].
I looked at their web site and, even though the paper's article made it appear that it was a local traditional book publisher, thanks to your constant efforts to educate me and the rest of the world, I was able to spot it as something entirely different.
Every day that I am associated with you and BookLocker, I am so grateful that we found each other.
Have a great week!
I checked out the website he referenced. It appears to be a new POD publisher. Here's what I noticed:
Red Flag #1 - No Pricing
The site has no pricing information whatsoever. This is the classic "fill out this form for more information" sales tactic. They make you give them your contact information so they can then bombard you with marketing information and hard sales pitches.
Red Flag #2 - Your Book Sucks...but You Can Pay Us to Fix It
The "testimonial" on their homepage was from an author who was gushingly grateful that the publisher not only provided him with a detailed summary of his manuscript, but that they then upsold him on their book doctoring services.
Telling an author their book needs work is one thing. Telling them it needs work and then upselling them on your own book doctoring services is quite another.
Red Flag #3 - Hidden or No Online Bookstore
This publisher obviously doesn't have its authors' best interests at heart because it doesn't even have an online bookstore. Author should avoid publishers who don't have an online bookstore and also publishers who make their online bookstores difficult to find.
If a publisher has a huge, impressive homepage that is 100% devoted to selling services to new authors, with a teensy, tiny link to their bookstore, they should also be avoided. I mean, come on...visitors going to that homepage are going to not only know you paid to have your book published, but will also have a hard time finding your book. Those publishers are obviously far more interested in reeling in new authors than they are in selling your book.
I didn't name this particular publisher in this article because I don't want readers to assume they're the only publisher doing business like this. There are hundreds of them online now.