Getting published: what’s it worth to you?

Did you see my pretty book cover? It went up earlier this morning only to get buried by this post.

I recently stumbled on a small publisher who shall remain nameless. This is how their publishing deal works: if they decide to publish your book, they take care of formatting and some editing and some promo, although they do make it clear that the author is responsible for the majority of the promotion (not unusual) like setting up appearences and such.

The publisher offers no advance. In fact, they keep your royalties until they recoup the cost of getting the book together and published. Also, their distribution doesn’t seem much better than what I get on my own.

I understand why they operate that way with the money, but I’m not sure how beneficial it is to the author, other than the fact they get to say they’re published. I don’t think I could trust a small company who tells me they might eventually give me some money. Maybe. If they decide to be truthful about how many books you’ve actually sold.

Of course, that could be a concern with any size publisher. I might just be paranoid.

From here, this is what I see – authors possibly making less money (risk) but gaining whatever prestige comes with being a “published” writer. Am I just being cynical about a company who means well but has limited resources?

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5 comments on “Getting published: what’s it worth to you?

  1. slepsnor says:

    I’ve been “published” twice and it really doesn’t bring much prestige without sales. Unless you make ‘decent’ money, most people don’t take the publishing seriously. The company might mean well, but the author has be able to put a lot of time, effort, and money into promotions with a system like that. It sounds a little shady to me, but I’m paranoid about stuff like that.

    • RLDraws says:

      “Unless you make ‘decent’ money, most people don’t take the publishing seriously.”

      That’s a good point. And how could one get close to decent money if the publisher’s resources are so limited that they can’t give you royalties off the jump? It says something about their confidence in their ability to sell.

      • slepsnor says:

        It’s a safe move on their part, but an author who doesn’t reach their limit is in trouble. Amazon has something similar. You only get a check after make $100 in royalties and direct deposit requires $10 in royalties. I think it also saves money on printing checks for everything.

  2. Dee Crabtree says:

    I like my publishing my own work. It feels good to have total control over my own work. If it flops, it’s all on me. If it soars, it’s all on me, as well. Independence is priceless.

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