Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Another publisher to avoid
Mill City Press is one of many vanity presses that improperly use the term "Self Publishing Company." There is no such thing as a self-publishing company. Just as no one can eat lunch for you or have surgery for you, no one can self-publish for you.
Like most vanity presses, Mill City is not completely truthful. The company says you'll get "10 complimentary books." They're only complimentary if you ignore the fact that you'll pay Mill City as much as $3,798 to get the free books.
The price for their basic publishing package is $1,497. That's about $500 more than you'll pay if you hire your own editor and designer.
Mill City's royalty chart is deceptive. The company says you'll make $10.05 on each $13.95 book. That big royalty applies to books sold on your own website and "fulfilled" by Mill City. Your royalty is reduced by a $1.50 handling fee and a 3% credit card processing fee.
How many people are going to find your website and order books from you? How much will it cost to drive traffic to your website. What happens if nobody shows up?
If you become a real self-publisher and use Lightning Source for on-demand printing, your book will be available on Amazon.com. BarnesAndNoble.com, and many other online booksellers, and can be ordered by any bookstore.
If you set a 20% discount, Amazon pays you $11.16 per $13.95 book. You pay Lightning $3.90 for printing and shipping to Amazon's customer, so your gross profit is $7.26 per book, compared with $8.13 "royalty" from Mill City.
So, since you will "lose" 87 cents per book by selling through Amazon, B&N, etc. instead of selling on your own website, you have to calculate which sales path will sell more books.
The Bookseller websites have MILLIONS of customers who spend MANY BILLIONS of dollars each year. The Amazon website attracted at least 615 MILLION VISITORS annually in 2008 (according to a Compete.com survey).
How many potential customers will find your website?
There is probably no good reason to do business with Mill City.