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.



  1. That's a pretty high price for a paperback. I'm spoiled by Createspace-- I expect every pod to be that cheap.

  2. It's so easy to find a better choice. I wonder why anyone would use Wordclay.

  3. I use Wordclay. I have published three books with it. If you are willing to do the work yourself, capable of handling the artwork, can edit your own material, then it is what it claims to be.

    Yes it has a price attached to help of any kind. You get what you pay for. But it is quite possible to publish a book with the system, and it is acceptable quality. I think it was also quite reasonable in its pricing for unassisted publishing.

    You can dis the product for the add ons but you can not fault the basic claims.

  4. I was with Wordclay and had a book published, but what do I do now, about retrieving that book so to speak so that I can make sure that it doesn't get stolen with my words?

    1. There is nothing you can do to keep your book from being stolen, but you presumably hold the copyright and could sue anyone who violates it.

  5. I was with Wordclay to have two books published, and I was satisfied with the service. I had two book signings which friends, family and community members organized and attended, and it was an excellent experience. There was also a book review in a local newsmagazine.

    1. I'm glad you were satisfied, but your book is terribly overpriced, your cover is horrible and your Amazon sales rank is abysmal.

      Three questions: (1) Did Wordclay set up the signings and review? (2) How many copies have been sold? (3) Did you make any money on the book?

  6. You seem to have an outdated information. You are probably referring to the DIY service a few years back. I have just signed up with them and I believe it was a well-informed decision. I can only question your hidden agenda.

    1. You're a paranoid, ignorant fool.

      (1) The posting you refer to is from MORE THAN FIVE FUCKING YEARS AGO! Can't you read dates? Would you be enraged if you read a news report that says that Dwight Eisenhower is the new president of the USA?

      Wordclay was launched in 2007 by publishing behemoth Author Solutions -- a company notorious for disappointing authors with overpriced, crappy books and bad service -- and then shut down in 2012.

      The Wordclay brand was recently resurrected as one of many barely distinguishable Author Solutions brands that seem to compete -- but really don't.

      (2) Go to hell. I have no "hidden agenda."

      My very public agenda is to help authors to avoid being disappointed with overpriced, crappy books.

  7. I just published with them and I am happy with my decision. I've asked about everything you mentioned in this article and I found out that these refers to the DIY service five years ago. I believe I made a well-informed decision. Oh, the price? The best value for my hard-earned money!

    1. If you're happy, I'm happy. I hope you're satisfied with the book. I tried to take a look at it but a search for your name on Wordclay and Amazon showed nothing -- not a good sign.