April 24, 2014

12/21/12 – The End of the (Publishing) World – Rejections Wanted!

Welcome to the Coach’s Corner!

Wasn’t too long ago that large, traditional publishers held themselves to a higher, altruistic standard. They held the keys to publishing and controlled who was allowed the possibility of commercial success. Self publishing your own book was difficult and—for most folks—cost-prohibitive. “Big Publishing” has jerked the publishing world off its axis and finally climbed down from its ivory tower. Translation: “They’ve sold their souls and slush piles for cash.”

For the better part of twenty years, proud and confident authors with a manuscript and a stack of rejection letters have been able to self publish their own books. They have paid their own way, controlling every step of the process and being wholly responsible for the final results. They’ve never relinquished their publishing rights. They own their ISBN. They have built whatever success their book and their commitment could bring.

Many have taken the easier, albeit more expensive path, paying a vanity press publisher to publish their book. Though the vanity press industry continues to call this option “self publishing,” it’s not.  They own your ISBN. You’ve given them your publishing rights for the duration of the agreement. They receive the publisher’s profits and pay a smaller royalty to the author who’s still taken all of the risk, put up the money, and largely determines if the book’s any good or will earn any success in the end.

As I shared in a previous Coach’s Corner, before I joined the team at www.selfpublishing.com, I used to work for a vanity press publisher. (In my own defense, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I’m grateful that Ron’s provided an incredible education and opportunity for me here.) I remember spit-balling—and salivating—with the sales team over there (before the company was bought, moved, and the sales process moved to the Philippines). “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a hold of the Simon & Schuster’s slush pile? Wouldn’t it be great to get Penguin’s rejections?”

“Never happen,” was the assurance from our then-president, herself one of the only folks in the entire vanity press industry with a genuine, traditional publishing background and pedigree. Hope as we might, dream as we could, traditional publishers would always hold their reputations and practices—and slush piles—to the highest standards.

I guess the lure of easy money was too great. Simon & Schuster wasn’t the first company to jump into bed with the vanity press group that is Author Solutions, Inc.  Thomas Nelson, Hay House, Writer’s Digest, LifeWay Books, and others have created “A Division of” imprint, operated and owned by Author Solutions, Inc. (Ask anyone at Thomas Nelson and Hay House about the arrangement and they’ll immediately distance themselves. Same with the others. Try it.)

Then Penguin bought Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) giving a moment’s hope that maybe there would be some course correction to the bait-and-switch methods employed to take money—not just manuscripts—from well-meaning authors. Now Simon & Schuster’s created Archway with ASI; the most recent, significant indicator that money is more important than reputation.

Submit an inquiry to any of the publishers noted above and you can bet you’ll be hearing from a representative from Author Solutions, Inc., asking if you’d like to try and earn your way to the top by pulling out your credit card and buying a “self publishing” package from “a division of…”

I’d like to see any rejection letter that any of you receive from Penguin or Simon & Schuster imprint you receive in the New Year—especially if they suggest that there is another way to publish, through their special division. Mail or fax me a copy? Let me know if you don’t hear from “a division of…” representative.

Assuming the world keeps turning after December 21, Self Publishing, Inc. will always be here to help authors.  We can help with the services you need to truly self publish the best book you can write.

See you in the New Year!

 

For the better part of twenty years, proud and confident authors with a manuscript and a stack of rejection letters have been able to self publish their own books. They have paid their own way, controlling every step of the process and being wholly responsible for the final results. They’ve never relinquished their publishing rights. They own their ISBN. They have built whatever success their book and their commitment could bring.

Many have taken the easier, albeit more expensive path, of paying a vanity press publisher to publish their book. Though the vanity press industry continues to call this option “self publishing,” it’s not.  They own your ISBN. You’ve given them your publishing rights for the duration of the agreement. They receive the publisher’s profits and pay a smaller royalty to author who’s still taken all of the risk, put up the money, and largely determines if the book’s any good or will earn any success in the end.

As I shared in a previous Coach’s Corner, before I joined the team at www.selfpublishing.com, I used to work for a vanity press publisher. (In my own defense, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I’m grateful that Ron’s provided an incredible education and opportunity for me here.) I remember spit-balling—and salivating—with the sales team over there (before the company was bought, moved, and the sales process moved to the Philippines). “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a hold of the Simon & Schuster’s slush pile? Wouldn’t it be great to get Penguin’s rejections?”

“Never happen,” was the assurance from our then-president, herself one of the only folks in the entire vanity press industry with a genuine, traditional publishing background and pedigree. Hope as we might, dream as we could, traditional publishers would always hold their reputations and practices—and slush piles—to the highest standards.

I guess the lure of easy money was too great. Simon & Schuster wasn’t first company to jump into bed with the vanity press group that is Author Solutions, Inc.  Thomas Nelson, Hay House, LifeWay Books, and others have created “A Division of” imprint, operated and owned by Author Solutions, Inc. (Ask anyone at Thomas Nelson about the arrangement and they’ll immediately distance themselves. Same with the others. Try it.)

Then Penguin bought Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI) giving a moment’s hope that maybe there would be some course correction to the bait-and-switch methods employed to take money—not just manuscripts—from well-meaning authors. Now Simon & Schuster’s created Archway with ASI; the most recent, significant indicator that money is more important than reputation.

Submit an inquiry to any of the publishers noted above and you can bet you’ll be hearing from a representative from Author Solutions, Inc., asking if you’d like to try and earn your way to the top by pulling out your credit card and buying a “self publishing” package.

I’d like to see any rejection letter that any of you receive from a Penguin or Simon & Schuster imprint received in the New Year—especially to see if they suggest that there is another way to publish, through their special division. Mail or fax me a copy?

Assuming the world keeps turning after December 21, Self Publishing, Inc. will always be here to help authors.  We can help with the services you need to truly self publish the best book you can write.

See you in the New Year!

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Comments

  1. Great article but doesn’t help me. I’ve had three novels published by pegasus Mckenzie and one self published autobiography of my life as heavyweight wrestling champion of the world. I fired my agent because she sat on her bottom and did nothing and I had a row with my South African distributer for not bringing in enough books for the book launches here. I have another novel completed about IRA plans to blow up the Thames Barrier during the Olympic Games which I have not yet signed a contract with the publisher. Can you advise me? Please check my website. I should be marketable since I was well known world wide.. Sorry about the moan!

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