Friday, March 19, 2010
Wordclay is dysfunctional, dishonest and overpriced
(Left-click to enlarge image.)
I've done most of my recent publishing with Lightning Source and recently started examining and evaluating other paths to publication.
I already tried Lulu and CreateSpace, and Wordclay was next on my list.
Wordclay is part of pay-to-publish behemoth Author Solutions, which also owns former competitors AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford and Xlibris.
Wordclay is listed on the Author Solutions website. Strangely, the Wordclay homepage says that the site is copyrighted by Publishing Solutions, Inc. -- and does not mention Author Solutions. The parent is mentioned in Wordclay press releases, but not on on the "About Us" page.
Like many competitors, Wordclay promises "Free Publishing." It says, "And, best of all, you can self-publish as many books as you like...for free, compliments of Wordclay." In truth, you can play around on the website for free, but if you want a real book to be printed, you pay (and overpay) for it.
You can even pay Wordclay for things that are free elsewhere.
Any American author can get a Library of Congress Control Number easily, quickly and at no cost. Wordclay will do the three minutes work for you, for $150.
Wordclay also charges $150 for a copyright registration. You can register yourself for $35.
More non-freebies from Wordclay include $275 or $999 for cover design, $249 for a logo design, six cents per word for content editing, and $799 to permit booksellers to return unsold books.
Wordclay says its "user-friendly book publishing service" is "by far the easiest, fastest and most dynamic publishing experience."
I have no idea what they mean by "dynamic," but I am qualified to evaluate friendliness, ease and speed.
It's definitely not easy to publish with Wordclay. I have not been able to verify the claim for speed.
I tried to register to publish a book, but on five different occasions over two days (screen shots above), when I clicked on "save registration" I was taken to an irrelevant page that said that my search term did not return sufficient results.
The Wordclay printing price for a 128-page 6-by-9-inch paperback book is $6.99. That's a little less than Lulu charges ($7.06), but a lot more than CreateSpace ($2.50) and Lightning Source ($2.97) charge.
Prices for other sizes are similarly out of step, which means that the retail price would be higher than competing books, or the author would make less money, or both.
I can't see any reason for a writer to use -- or try to use -- Wordclay.