August 25

Is there such thing as a legitimate self-publishing package? Read this!


When you’re an author, you need to be fully aware of what’s a legitimate self-publishing package and what’s not.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a fellow author that went something like this:

Me: What’ve you been working on lately?

Author: Oh, I just put out my first book! I’m so excited!

Me: Congratulations, that’s huge!

Author: Thanks! It took so much longer than I thought it would, but I’m just so relieved and done with the whole process. I’m glad it’s over.

Me: Wow, how long did it take?

Author: Well, while I was writing, I signed up for one of those self-publishing packages. You know the kind that some traditional publishers offer? You can go through one of their subsidiary self-publishing companies and purchase a package that has cover design, formatting, and then actually publishing it online and in paperback for you.

Me: That sounds pretty convenient. How did it work out for you?

Author: After I finally finished writing and editing the book, I sent them a totally complete manuscript, all ready to publish, and it took them 7 months to get the book published. They drug their heels the whole time, and I had to constantly remind them about our timelines and publication date. It was a mess! But I’d already paid for it, so I couldn’t back out.

Me: Yikes, I’m so sorry! How much did it cost?

Author: Over $1,000. Half-way through, I was so tempted just to back out and do it all myself, but I just kept thinking, “Surely just another few weeks, and they’ll get it done.” But they kept forgetting about me and taking longer than they said it would.
Author continues: But you know what really sucks? After all this, I only get 10% of the profits of the book. If I could go back and do it all over again, I’d never have signed up for that self-publishing package. It just seemed so legitimate because it was a subsidiary company of a real publishing house, you know?

Oh, I know.

Does it look like a legitimate self-publishing package? Here’s a dirty little secret they don’t want you to know.

Many legitimate self-publishing subsidiaries exist under the legitimate umbrella of a big publishing house, so you think that the same sort of people who work at the publishing house also work at the same self-publishing subsidiary. Same type of professionals with the same type of standards, right?

Not necessarily. Often, these subsidiaries are taking on too many projects at once and having to bring in outsourced labor from who-knows-where to try to pick up the slack on overdue, over budget book projects.

The result: you pay upfront, they take their sweet time publishing, the quality is often hit-or-miss, and you still only end up with 10% of the profits!

Why do people sign up with self-publishing subsidiaries?

1. Prestige.

Let’s face it—many of us will feel better about our books if we can tell others, “I’m publishing under Big Name Publishing House’s legitimate self-publishing branch.” Your family and friends with respond with the proper, “Oh, that’s fantastic!”

On the other hand, if we tell others, “I’m publishing on my own, just uploading documents and images to Amazon,” those same people would likely say, “Oh, are you sure that’s a good idea…?”

We let other people's’ opinions get in the way of our own better judgement.

2. We feel overwhelmed by learning about self-publishing.

Ebook? Paperback? Mobi files? PDF files? Cover design? Formatting?

How the heck do we sort all of this out? We feel like we’d have to take a whole training course, just to figure out the basics. Then, we get a headache and just set the whole thing aside for a while.

So, yes, when we stumble upon a website with sleek graphics and a recognizable name that says, “You write the book, and we’ll handle self-publishing for you,” it all sounds blissfully simple.

3. In the end, we simply don’t want to be 100% responsible for the outcome.

It’s a lot of pressure to be responsible for the outcome of a published book. What if the cover looks cheesy? What if the formatting Is screwed up? What if people give the book one-star reviews?

We’d rather bring someone else in to share the burden (and the blame) with us. Hey, that’s totally normal. And it’s exactly why we go Googling for a legitimate self-publishing package.

But I’m calling you to something more.

If you go through all the trouble of writing a book, it’s on you to make sure it’s published properly.

I’m going to give you my honest opinion: 90% of the time, it’s a bad plan to sign up for one of those easy-looking self-publishing packages.

Look, you’ve spent months or years sweating out this book. You’ve already invested so much time, energy, and money (especially if you include the cost of procrastinating for years), why not spend a little more to make sure the book publishing process goes smoothly?

It’s entirely possible (and not even that complicated) to hire your own people to design your book cover, format your book, and put it all on Amazon.

Whatever you do, make sure to read reviews and even call previous clients before you hire any contractors.

I should mention, there is an easier way to publish like a pro.

The Paper Raven Books team is now offering publishing services. Yep, we’ve assembled some of the best formatters, proofreaders, and project managers in the industry. We’ll make sure your book moves smoothly through a cover design competition, into painless formatting, through that critical final proof, and we’ll even find a narrator that’s perfect for your book. Plus, we’ll write an author bio, back-of-the-book blurb, and book description for you—and those are a critical piece of getting visibility in the Amazon bookstore.

Here are all the details on how we work with authors to publish their pro books on Amazon.

If you’re planning to finally release your book before the end of 2016, fill out an application to get our help to publish your book (and looking pro!) on Amazon now.


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