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Thread: Simon Says

  1. #71
    julie sinclair

    Re: ripping off consumer

    Yes, Catherine, that was my quote, but it was about MY book and it didn't HAVE to be like that. At the time, I didn't know (as they say) what I know now. And that book was published with a different purpose (to get an ailing friend's work into print).

    That said, I don't see any reason why a good writer can't successfully edit her own work and successfully lay it out (yes, in Word. If I had known then...and it may have been from your post that I know it NOW...using Garamond would have made my text look much better and its no big deal to upload your own PDF file. I changed what I could by hand--probably most people would think its basically fine (I see worse from publishers all the time), but I plan to reformat and republish with Lulu some day (it's only $150 after all).

    I really don't think its so difficult to design a decent cover if you know Photoshop (or, to put it another way, I see lots of traditional publishing house covers that are perfectly effective with just a mixture of color and type. If you have an artistic sensibility, and a knowledge of covers that look good, it should be doable. If not, I can hire someone competent for about $150 dollars--or less. I actually had a fair amount of input over my AH covers and, although I had to pay for some of the changes, I think they look quite good, though probably (sight unseen) you would disagree.

    >>...but the technology is all here now...so there's no excuse.<<

    Like it or not, the technology is all here now for a writer who takes time to research and learn the requirements, to put together a decent looking paperback and get a good product published POD. No need to wait 6 months for a publisher to decide if your book will be profitable for them--and then to hear, "we'll have to pass".

    Technology allows writers to make a good looking product AND to keep the pricing competitive. It's possible. (And I have a feeling that consumers rarely buy the junk products anyway--especially if they're $30).

  2. #72
    Catherine S

    Re: ripping off consumer

    Well, first of all, no you can't edit your own work. If you don't know it's a mistake the first time, you won't learn it thorugh osmosis before editing.

    As for covers, it takes 10 - 40 hours to create a professional book cover. Anyone charging $150 is not making much of a living - and even licensing fonts and images costs $100s. I just dished out $2000 for software. Those investments really are what separates the "loving hands at home" from the professional projects and anyone can tell the difference in most cases. In addition, you can probably create the full spread in PhotoShop if you're just limiting yourself to a digital (POD) press, but PSD is only designed for graphics and not intended to be a layout program, and while it does export PDFs now, they're simply not the same as a PDF created in Illustrator or Quark or InDesign or PageMaker. I don't know of any offset printers who would accept a full spread done in PhotoShop and even if they did, the designer certainly wouldn't be respected.

    You want to be respected as a writer and you obviously expect the consumer to pay you more than they would the average writer, yet you don't seem to understand that typography and design are also crafts, just as worthy of recognition and payment.

    You say all you need to create a cover is PhotoShop, that's like saying all you need to be a writer is Word. And that is exactly why people don't like non-traditional publishing. That's the exact attitude in a nutshell. That's the mindset that will forever sentence self-publishing to second-class status.

    The problem with AuthorHouse (knowns as 1stBooks before the legal problems) is that the consumer doesn't know what they're getting, since they can only make the purchase online. There's no opportunity to make an informed purchase as to quality.

  3. #73
    julie sinclair

    Re: ripping off consumer

    >>...you obviously expect the consumer to pay you more than they would the average writer<<

    How so? I'm talking about a non-fiction book, with good information and 200 well written pages, for $13. I don't think that's "ripping off the consumer". That price is quite comparable to publishers' books.

    As for gouging the consumer with high-priced PODs, how many of those do you think people would buy? I would imagine very few are sold. It's difficult enough to sell books when you are an known author with a track record of good books and a publisher helping to market them.

    How many people would go on Amazon (or to a POD publisher's website) and buy a $25 200 page novel or non-fiction title from an author they'd never even heard of? You can tell a lot about a book's--and the skill of the writer--even from the short blurbs they've written to accompany the online cover picture.

    Of course there are good and bad POD books. But there are good and bad "published" books by the thousands. Have you never seen books from professional publishers that were over-priced and a complete waste of your money in terms of their content, Catherine? Because I've seen dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of them.

    We know that many good writers have been repeatedly turned down by publishers. If they chose the POD route instead of continuing to accumulate rejection slips, would they be any less talented?

  4. #74
    Nadine Laman

    Re: ripping off consumer

    "Commercial publishing weeds out the poorly constructed and pieces written by people who have no talent."

    Let's ponder that statement.


  5. #75
    Sarah Klein

    Thanks to all

    Thank you, Nadine and everyone, for providing a wealth of information that I will give to my students. They are young and so eager to be published. Although I don't know much about this area, I have explained in my classes that POD does not equal being published. However, this may have fallen on deaf ears because after having received a couple of rejections from agents some of these college students want to go the POD route. I will explain to them once again that they proceed at their own peril.

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