Monday, June 23, 2014

Why is this pathetic publishing company still in business?

I previously noted that "the recent, long-overdue and completely justified demise of Shiel & Denver" meant that Outskirts Press had reclaimed its sad title as the second-worst publishing-services company in the world, with Publish America (now America Star Books) as the worst.

A recent look at the site of Self Help Publishers has caused me to drop PA and Outskirts into merely second and third worst. Congratulations to both.

Like many of its competitors, Self Help Publishers is both inept and overpriced.

Unlike PA and Outskirts, Self Help is only mildly sleazy. However it is so outrageously incompetent that it grabs the overall-worst title even without cheating or stealing.

It is misleading, of course, with the impressive-sounding claim that "Your book shall also be made available to several online retailers and no less than 30,000 bookstores." That does not mean that any bookseller will actually try to sell your book.

And its claim that it has assisted "hundreds of thousands of authors in realizing their self publishing dreams" is absolute bullshit.

The company's website was incomplete and incompetent when I first looked at it in 2010 -- and it still is in 2014.

What does this mean:  "Does royalties can earn by buying my own book?"

The logo at the top of the website indicates "beta" -- but the website was created on June 4, 2003!  Eleven years is a long time to remain in beta. The most recent copyright date is 2011. Isn't anyone at the company paying attention? Am I the only one who has read the website? 

The site's section about ebooks mentions reading on an extinct PDA (portable digital assistant) but does not mention tablets, smart phones or e-readers.

The pathetically out-of-date company can't handle color ebooks. However, it can provide PDF ebooks, which approximately 17 people still care about. 

What the fuck does this mean: "The editorial section looks for any errors in the books whether it be in the typing, spelling mistakes or the punctuation. This gives an edge over the market value of the book. This
Basic Editorial Service
Enhanced Editorial
Manuscript Review/Assessment"

And, couldn't someone in the "editorial section" see that the following should be two sentences?

"Your search for book publishers is over Print-on-Demand is the most affordable option if you want to become a successful self published author." 

... or that "in to" should be one word?

(below) Take a look at -- and have a barf bag handy. The text is all "lorem ipsum" (temporary Latin text used to evaluate a layout).

The online forum has few posts. One post says "Is peace possible?" That's an interesting question, but has nothing to do with publishing. Many posts are unmoderated spam.

The blog section is similarly useless.

The site promotes a dozen "Unique Offers services." None of them are unique and most are of dubious value. Prices range up to $9,999. Ouch.

Much of the site seems to have been written by someone who is NOT a native English speaker (and edited by someone who is blind), like:
  •  "The manuscript can be well prepared before it is finally published. The user file contains images, graphics and contents, which can be very useful before you make the final publication. There are two main service involved in this."
  • And: "Irrespective of your choice of genre chosen to write the book, you will have an undivided access to our services and support essential in publishing them. We have crafted a professional process of self publishing to enable to take complete control of your book throughout all the stages of editing, proofreading, designing the design, and selecting the layout of the page."
  • And: "We authorize you with full creative control right from the submission of the manuscript till the final publication of the book." 
  • And: "We ensure you that we will offer the top of line self publishing services along with the editorial and the marketing services."
  • And: "the entire money is reimbursed back."
  • And: "The eBooks are in the electronic version."
  • And: "Should y"
  • And: "She doesn't talk to re"
  • And: "Do\'s and Don\'ts"
  • And: "Now, an intensive artwork is available"
  • And: "Do the customers spend time considerable time looking at the book cover?"
Self Help says "Within few weeks you will get published." It also says, "your manuscript conversion into a book will take somewhere between three to six months."

The section called "The People of Self-Help" includes job functions, but has no people.
Many of the books the company offers for sale are from authors who do not use the company -- including Arthur Conan Doyle and Homer! Many prices are extremely high, and extremely stupid, like $30.61 and $20.27.

Many categories including law, medical, technology and juvenile fiction have no books at all.

The company says that a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) protects your book. It does not.

The company brags that it lets author submit their manuscripts online. That's not exactly a competitive advantage since all of its competitors work the same way.

Even the company's name is stupid. It would be a good name for a company that publishes self-help books.

According to its website, "We are one of the renowned book publishing houses " and "Self Help Publishers is the world's leading provider of Print-on-Demand book publishing, distribution and marketing services for authors."

I hereby declare that the pathetic company is full of shit, and I challenge the company to justify its claim of world leadership.

Of course the company lies about providing up to 30 complimentary books. They're complimentary only if you ignore the fee of up to $2,099.

I am amazed that this company is still in business, and can't imagine why any writer would pay money to it.

Self Help Publishers takes incompetence to a ludicrous new level.


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