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  1. #1
    Te Burt

    1st Books Library - Scam?

    I got a packet from this -- group? -- aka Advanced Marketing Technologies, soliciting a contract -- to do what, I'm not sure. Something with publishing. I'm suspicious. Since I work with a lawyer on silicone breast implant litigation and tobacco litigation, I'm suspicious anyway. Anybody know anything about these guys?

  2. #2
    Te Burt

    Re: 1st Books Library - Scam?

    Well, nevermind, I just found your other discussion on the topic. What are they doing? A mass mailing? Forget I asked.

  3. #3
    NYC agent

    Re: 1st Books Library - Scam?

    Everything 1st Books charges for, you can do much more cheaply yourself. There is a difference between vanity publishing and self-publishing. 1st Books is a vanity publiser. They will "publish" anything if you send them hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It's virtually impossible for an author to make any money through a vanity press.

  4. #4
    Gary Kessler

    Re: 1st Books Library - Scam?

    NYC Agent: You possibly can do it much more cheaply yourself (given time available and enough knowledge about the process not to screw up and spend money needlessly, of course) but probably only if you have a direct connection with a POD press. For regular presses, you really will have to run at least 350-400 copies at a time, which means you need to have a large number of guaranteed buyers in tow to avoid taking a financial pasting. Do you know of POD presses that work directly with individual authors in a self-publishing arrangement? This is not a challenge question; really want to know who some of them are. Does Lightning Source, for instance, have such a service for single-book deals?

    Do these POD presses have cover design services, as well? If not, do you know of cover design services that will design a one-off cover for an author at anything close to what the package publishers charge? Again, a genuine question. I haven't found a cover design business that will design a cover for less than $700, when some of the POD packages do the whole package for less than that.

    Thus far I've found the "I can put it all together cheaper myself" statement to be so much easier to roll off the tongue than actually to get done. A tutorial, please--not in general wave of the hands terms, please--specific citations of URLs.

  5. #5

    Self-Publishing Resource

    Don't forget that self-published authors need to purchase a block of ISBNs. An excellent source for self-publishing is the award winning, The Pre Publishing Handbook by Pat Bell. It has all the pertinant information about the pros and cons of self-publishing. She herself says that self-publishing costs much more than a few hundred dollars charged by PODs. In any case, she is a terrific lady who knows a great deal about the publishing industry. You can check out her website at www.catspawpress.com

  6. #6
    Brad M.

    "Opinions" in disguise

    "NYC Agent," and "I am A Great Writer" are posting from the same user tags. So which is it, are you a writer or are you an agent or are you claiming to be both? If you are one or the other, or both, perhaps you'd like to identify yourself.

  7. #7
    I Am a Great Writer

    An outright lie

    >>She herself says that self-publishing costs much more than a few hundred dollars charged by PODs.

    That is an outright lie. This is because when you self-publish you keep all of the gross. A vanity service (please stop calling it POD), cheats you twice: first, when they overcharge you for "publication," and second, each time they sell a copy of your book. They lie to you by saying you are getting a better royalty deal than you'd get from New York--upwards of 40%. If you are buying the copies yourself from a vanity press, you are in fact paying for the books TWICE--they are keeping the other 60%. And in the (very rare) instances where the books are being sold to regular customers, you are being cheated of the other 60+% you would be getting if you had published the damn thing yourself.

    A legitimate NY publisher will give you an advance--anywhere between five grand and a million bucks. I myself received an advance of $50,000.00. You don't have to pay any of that money back, even if your book doesn't sell a single damned copy.

    But if you're not good enough to get a real publishing deal, and still want to see your book out there to feed your ego, then self-publishing is the way to go. At least you're not being cheated twice, as with a vanity, and you get to control every dime that comes in. Self-promotion is the same amount of work either way.

  8. #8
    Gary Kessler

    Re: An outright lie

    First, you're beginning to get mixed up on what you said as "NYC Agent" and what you said as "I Am a Great Writer." Whether or not you are a great writer (obviously not), your way of posting is so childish that no one here is going to believe a word you say.

    Second, you never keep all of the gross--on a $12.95 retail book, you don't keep $12.95 (which is the gross), you keep only a small portion of that (the net), because no matter how you publish, big chunks of the gross drop off as production, marketing, distribution, and adminsitrative costs. You're only talking a couple of dollars difference no matter how you publish--and when you've factored in reasonable hourly rates for the added time it takes you to self-publish (and the big time expense in that really comes at the other end--marketing and distribution, where success in sales mean skyrocketing hours you have to put in yourself), I think--from my research, which I'm quite sure is more assured than the figures you are must pulling out of your rear end--that Kaz is probably exactly right--as long as you carefully watch what is being charged for what services, a POD packager is probably a lot cheaper and less time-consuming than self-publishing in the long run.

    Also, under both of your dumb names you are continuing to mix up what type of publishing you are talking about when that it's almost impossible to try to follow what little logic there is in your argument.

    If you want anyone to half way believe any of the statistics you bandy about, I'd suggest you stop this silly name childishness and come back up on the board as a single real person and only give statistics that you can actually back up. There's probably a worthwhile discussion in what you are trying to say--but you certainly don't seem to be able to say it well.

  9. #9
    I Am a Great Writer

    Re: An outright lie

    >>a POD packager is probably a lot cheaper and less time-consuming >>than self-publishing in the long run.

    Your entire argument is based on this fundamental falsehood. Wake up! For vanity writers, there is no "long run." They'll pay the big charges to the vanity scammers, alert a few friends, move a handful of copies. Then nothing else happens. NOTHING. No long-run about it, sorry.

    You're obviously one of the smarter people around here, but when you start jumping up and down about statistics, you are missing the larger point, and continuing to misinform everyone. The fact remains that if you are not in the 1% of writers who can write WELL ENOUGH to earn an advance from a legitimate publisher, it doesn't matter what statistics you have on the better way to masturbate: with a vanity hand, or with your own.

    That's what writers.net is all about. A bunch of people who aren't good enough to land professional contracts going on and on and ON about little publishing points that don't mean a damn thing because you are never going to get anywhere!

    Let me be perfectly clear about the three types of publishing:

    1. Professional. Somebody PAYS you for your work.
    2. Vanity. You are a lousy writer and you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to a scammer who will do nothing for your nowhere "career."
    3. Self-publishing. You are a lousy writer and you pay all publishing costs yourself (not to a third party like Xlibris etc) and the experience will likewise do nothing for your nowhere "career."

    You can debate all day that it's better to be cheated doing number 2 than to take all responsibility by doing number 3, but the fact remains that only an IDIOT would insist on doing 2 or 3 when a legitimate publisher is offering FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    Take THAT statistic and stick it in your ear!!

    I swear to God. You really *are* just a bunch of paraplegics endlessly debating the finer points of Olympic skiing.

  10. #10
    Hamish (WritersNet)

    Debate not Argument

    Surely, we can debate this issue without the petty insults and the attempts to bait people into a flame war.

    "Great Writer"/"NY Agent" please decide on one "identity". We have no objection to people maintaining anonymity by posting under a web-pseudonym but you discredit yourself by assuming these mantles simultaneously.

    Let's debate not argue, please.


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