The amazing thing about technology today is that every person has the power to publish their words into the world. This wasn't always the case.
As little as ten years ago, when you wrote a book — whether a cookbook, a motivational book, a poetry book or novel — your path to publishing had just started. You might shop that book around to vanity presses or self-publishing companies looking for a contract. Or you might pay high fees to an agent to hustle that book in front of publishers. If you were able to land a publishing contract, your book ceased being your book. You were the author, sure, but by signing over the publishing rights, what you were left with was a small percentage of the sales in the form of royalties.
The good news for authors is that a professional self-publishing company is here and available to everyone that wants to write!
It's an exciting time to be a self-publishing writer. As the opportunity to empower writers has grown, so has the passion and available resources grown for self-publishing education. There are many benefits to self-publishing, but there are still traps if you don't know what to look for.
At DiggyPOD we celebrate the victory of every one of our accomplished authors. And, for those just beginning their research to learn the best way to turn their book into print, we're here to help you steer clear of vanity presses and what we call "black hat" book publishing companies and their deceptive practices that take advantage of authors.
What Is a Self-Publishing Company?
A self-publisher is an author who is also the publisher of their work. When you self-publish, you are doing the same work that a traditional book publishing company does. One of the biggest roles a traditional book publisher fills is covering the cost of printing. So, a self-publisher takes on the cost of printing, along with writing and coordination of editing, layout, marketing and selling a book. A self-published author is his or her own publishing company, regardless of whether or not you technically have a company.
Look out for any company claiming to do the above services for a fee. These companies are vanity presses and they do not look out for the best interests of the author.
The Trouble with Vanity Presses
Essentially, a vanity press or black hat book publisher has you agree to a contract and has you pay a fee for one of their publishing packages. Warning! You don't have to sign a contract to be a self-publisher and have your book printed. Signing a contract can take away your rights so that you're technically no longer the publisher.
And the fees that vanity presses charge can be outrageous! Publishing packages from vanity presses including the popular CreateSpace can cost thousands of dollars and lock you into a contract where you're only paid royalties and don't receive the full proceeds of sales of your book. Other well-known black hat vanity presses and "pay-to-publish" companies you may have heard of or even inquired about include AuthorHouse, Author Solutions, Xlibiris and iUniverse.
Loyal DiggyPOD customers who come to us after a bad experience with a black hat publishing company have told us about dealings where they're told if they sign up for a $7,500 package, they can be upgraded to the $15,000 package for "free." What legit company is able to stay in business while giving away $7,500 of services? This is like an automotive company offering a free car with every car purchased. All this tells us is that the additional services they offer for free are truly worth nothing. These so-called publishing companies use high-pressure sales techniques (usually calling from a call center in Asia) to lock authors into a package.
Here are some common red flags to avoid if you're looking for a company to work with:
- High-pressure sales calls
- Payment plans that lock you into a contract
- Publishing contracts
- Cheap printing cost with high royalty fees
- Additional fees for marketing, editing, and design
Common Complaints about Vanity Press Publishing Companies
We've heard nightmare stories from our authors about their experience with vanity presses and "black hat" book publishing companies. Here are a few of their complaints:
- I can't get my artwork or original files and manuscripts back
- I am not getting paid my royalties
- I have spent thousands upfront and received no sales
- I've got nothing but broken promises
- I can't speak with anyone
- I never received a book proof
- My book was not printed to my specifications
- My ordered copies are damaged or misprinted
We believe that authors need to know about these shady and deceptive practices, because so-called book publishing companies take advantage of writers' dreams of becoming published. If the sales pitch sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. So, what are the best book publishing companies for new authors just getting started as a self-publisher?
How to Know if the Publishing Company Is White Hat
If you want to self-publish your book, a white hat self-publishing company is essentially a book printing company. Remember, you the self-publisher are the publishing company. You have the power and ability to do it all — and perhaps more importantly, to reap all the rewards as the publisher with the help of a printing company.
To find a printing partner, look for a book printing company that has tools and resources available to guide you through the publishing process. It's no small convenience if your printing company is located in the United States, answers their phones, and is there to help you with any questions you might have.
DiggyPOD is not just a book publishing company. We are 100% dedicated to serving self-publishers and we offer assistance every step of the way to help you get your book published. We offer very affordable services to get your book in print and finally make your dream of a published book a reality.
DiggyPOD's Mission to Serve Self-Publishers
Today self-publishers can have it all and DiggyPOD is proud to support that. Self-publishing with a book printing company requires no contract. Rather than receiving a small percent of the sales profits in the form of royalties, self-publishers keep all the profits. And with the state-of-the-art printing technology at DiggyPOD, self-published books are custom, beautiful and of book-store quality.
If you have any questions, about self-publishing companies, or anything else about self-publishing, we hope you'll give us a call! We are here to help and support and open the doors to the power of self-publishing!
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