Michael N. Marcus discusses writing, editing, design, publishing, marketing, language, culture, politics, food and other things. This blog started in 2008, was on hiatus for the summer and fall of 2017, and restarted in December. Michael took time away from blogging for much of 2019 and 2020 to write books.
We publish on Monday,
Wednesday and Friday in most weeks.
---The members of Booksie.com named this blog one of the Top 100 Writing Sites.---
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Every publisher doesn’t do everything
If you give a quick glance at the websites of the
companies that provide services to authors, you might think they’re all pretty
much the same. They’re not.
If you study their offerings, you’ll find obvious
differences in the prices they charge, and if you do some research you’ll
probably find varying opinions about the quality of their books.
There are other differences that may not be
immediately apparent and it’s important to know what to look for and ask about
before you sign a contract and send money.
Beware of companies that do not provide
proper support for book publishing and marketing.
specializes in photo books but also does more conventional books. The books are
very nice, but the printing cost may be much too high for you to be able to sell
the books at a profit.
Despite its bookish name, Café Press specializes in T-shirts, mugs and posters.
Beware of publishers with limiteddistribution
can produce excellent books and will ship cartons to you or to any place you
specify. However, the company has no system to make your books available to
booksellers or to the distributors that supply books to booksellers. In a
comparison webpage, DiggyPOD claims that CreateSpace charges extra for
laminated covers and it’s hard to find a phone number for support. Both claims
UniBooksays, “Your book is instantly available for
purchase worldwide in the UniBook online bookstore.” Unfortunately, like
DiggyPOD, UniBook has no way to get your books to stores or online booksellers,
and its books are very expensive.
has no distribution to booksellers.
has a helpful website, but no distribution to booksellers and its minimum order
quantity is 25 books. Other companies—such
as CreateSpace—have no minimum.
Publishing charges an extra $249 for broad distribution to worldwide
booksellers that other publishers don’t charge extra for.
Beware of companies
with limited options
Infinity Publishing says “Most
other book publishing companies can produce only a 5.5" X 8.5" book
and many of them do not offer an 8" X 8" book.” Actually, those sizes
are much less important than 6 by 9 inches, which Infinity does not print.
advertises on Google in searches for “self-publishing” andsays it “is Your Local Full-Service
Book Printing and Self-Publishing Partner.” AlphaGraphics charges much more to
print books and has no distribution to booksellers. It’s OK to use the company
for sell sheets—but not books.
can’t print color books and it’s ebooks are available at Amazon and B&N—but
not the Apple iBookstore.
Press wants to ship cartons of books to your house. It says, “We strongly believe that the best strategy for selling
books is to sell directly from your website, at events, or in eBook formats.” There
is no way in hell that your own website will get the traffic that Amazon and
Barnes & Noble receive.