InstantPublisher.com brags: "You write the book -- we'll do the rest."
Actually, authors do almost everything.
InstantPublisher doesn't do important things you might expect a book publisher to do:
- It doesn't edit books.
- Its doesn't format pages for printed books.
- It doesn't distribute printed books to booksellers.
- It doesn't distribute ebooks to Barnes & Noble.
- It doesn't provide marketing (other than selling DIY material).
InstantPublisher.com ("IP") is one of many pay-to-publish companies that demonstrate very few reasons to do business with them. IP is overpriced, inept, boastful and dishonest.
- InstantPublisher says it is everyone's favorite book publishing company. It is not my favorite book publishing company. Maybe it's not yours, either. Maybe it's not the favorite of millions of other people. The statement is absurd.
- InstantPublisher says it is "nationally recognized." By which people, in which nation, for doing what?
- InstantPublisher says it is "quickly becoming the #1 Book Publishing Service." I'm not sure how IP defines "#1," but since most of its competitors are privately held companies, IP does not have their sales figures or other statistics and can't back up the claim.
- This page, like others, has errors in English that should not be committed by a publishing company. "10-years" should not be hyphenated. Other terms that the company uses, like "cost effective," need hyphens.
- That short statement is redundant -- and demonstrates very bad math. It's impossible to receive 200% profit. Profit on book sales is usually somewhere in the 20% to 60% range. If you are able to get a book printed for a dollar and sell it for ten bucks, your (gross) profit is 90%. If you can get a book printed for nothing, and sell it for a penny -- or a dollar, ten bucks or a million bucks -- your profit is 100%. It can never be more than 100%.
The company says that "InstantPublisher simply cannot be beat in the short run book printing industry."
- IP gives us an example of "250 copies of a 150 page book, which is 5-½ x 8-½ inches perfect bound with a color cover, your cost would be $3.17 per book." The price from CreateSpace ("CS") is just $2.65 per book (even if I order just one copy), with me providing my own cover design (for which IP charges 25 cents extra per copy).
- The IP chart above shows a total price of $410.72 for 25 books. That is MANY TIMES the price from other printers, and probably eliminates the chance of making any profit.
- CS provides distribution to Amazon, B&N and other booksellers, but IP has NO distribution.
- IP requires customers to buy at least 25 copies. CS has no minimum.
- IP charges $50 for an unbound proof. I can get a bound proof from CS for $2.65 plus postage.
- The cover templates are abysmal.
IP says, "InstantPublisher.com does not . . . distribute your books, except for free listings on our web site."
- Other companies, including CS and Lightning Source, provide worldwide distribution to booksellers -- and charge less. The value of a listing on the IP site is approximately zero. IP expects its authors to become booksellers. Other companies do not.
- Competitors such as CS, Lulu and Outskirts do sell books for their authors.
- Other companies provide laminated covers at no additional charge.
IP says, "If you already have an ISBN number, Instantpublisher.com . . . can create the barcode for $15.00 during the order process.
- Other companies will provide the barcode for free.
IP says it "offers two different ISBN options. The first ISBN option retails for $75. This number will list Instantpublisher as the publisher of record and we will be listed as the main contact for your book."
- CreateSpace and other companies can provide an ISBN for free.
IP says, "By accessing, using or browsing this SITE, you (the "USER") are deemed to have read, understood and agreed to each of the terms, conditions, and notices set forth in this AGREEMENT. In addition, when using any particular content or service on this SITE, USER shall also be subject to and deemed to have read, understood and agreed to any posted guidelines or rules applicable to such content and services that may contain terms and conditions in addition to the terms, conditions and notices set forth in this AGREEMENT.
- Amazing. If I read anything on the website, IP assumes that I agree to all of its terms, even if I did not see or read the terms.
IP says that "Black and white books will be printed on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Color book proofs will be trimmed to size. If you do want a proof copy of your book before printing, there will be a flat charge of $50.00 for any color book order and any black & white book order that is under 200 copies. For black & white book order that is over 200 copies, the proof copy cost is $30.00. With the proof copy option, you will be mailed an unbound proof of your book and cover."
- I can get a bound proof (with proper color cover and proper-size pages) from CS for about three bucks plus postage.