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Old 04-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
Steven Lake
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The author owns it, because that's part of the fee you pay when getting published. Essentially they design it for you, and it's yours after that. As for Oort, the limited edition versions were all POD done by Amazon, and the cover was done my yours truly. Yes, I'm no art major, but I at least gave it my best shot. And as for my new publisher, I didn't get the "writer" package when I had the book republished with 2 Moon Press. I actually did the masterpiece package, and got it at the novelist price because I was gonna do so many books with them. ^_^ Plus I personally know the owner. He's actually a really good guy. If you want to meet him, we'll be over at Motor City Con, Gen Con, and Dragon Con this year, to name a few of the big events we'll be at. I'm gonna be working his booth helping him out while selling some of my own books as well.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:52 PM   #17
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WOW! I never knew the author pays the publisher... I thought it was the other way around...
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:05 PM   #18
Steven Lake
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Well, it depends on the publishing house. The *BIG* houses that take in millions of dollars every time someone blinks can publish the book for free, and pay authors an advance for their work. However, there's a catch. >98% of authors who sign with them sign away literary control of their work, meaning that once you sign that huge 180 page fine print contract, you sign away your book and all control of it to them. Sure, you get to publish for free, but you lose control of your work, and you have to make changes based on what *they* want, not what you want. Only the absolute biggest author names with powerful attorneys can have contracts written up to favor them and retain control.

Also, unless you're one of those big super names, you won't get your advance until you've sold at least 100,000 copies, which really doesn't make it an advance. Yes, there are the select few who do get huge advances and retain control of their works, but they're big names. The rest don't. On top of that, you are treated like cattle, and the customer is treated like dirt. Years ago it used to be the crowning achievement to get your book picked up by one of the big publishing houses. Today, that's not so much the case. The big publishing houses have turned, more or less, into the RIAA and MPAA of books. IE, you want to avoid them at all costs.

The next step down, which is what I have, is a pay to publish house. This is not a vanity publisher. There's a difference, and most people don't see that. It's agreed that the PTP publishing house I'm using does charge a small up front fee, but that's just for the setup, after that everything moves forward in the exact same way that one of the big houses would do it. Well, I should say *did* it, as they don't do it this way anymore. IE, my publisher actually cares for me and the owner handles each author personally. Yeah, ok, he's a small publisher, but sometimes you're best if you go that route.

With my publisher, even though they're PTP, you still have to get approved by them, and they most certainly DO NOT take everyone. He's actually rejected quite a number just this month alone. As he grows in size, he'll switch away from the PTP format to a more traditional publishing house setup. But even though he's small right now, he does everything for you just like he was a big publishing house. I've got all kinds of book shows, signings, radio ads, news paper, reviews by the LA Times, etc, etc, etc. IE, he works his butt off so you can be successful, and works with you personally every step of the way, just like the big houses used to do.

Now, in comparison, the next level below a PTP house is a POD (print on demand) and the Vanity publishers who only take your money, setup your book, print it, and then leave you to fend for yourself. He's anything but that. ^_^
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:29 AM   #19
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Thank you Steve...

Since I know very little about book publishing, this was very educational...
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:33 AM   #20
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:29 AM   #21
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I've only just read the 'link', but... that's shocking... I'm so glad I'm not a writer.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:50 AM   #22
Steven Lake
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Originally Posted by dadioflex View Post
Steven, when you say you own the artwork, are you SURE you own the artwork? If you wanted to use that cover with a different publisher (removing any references to the current publisher, obviously) would you be allowed to? If that was the case then it would be a real cheap way to get a quality cover. Maybe you could clarify that with your friend at 2 Moon for me.
Yes, you get to keep your cover and gain full ownership of it. Since you paid for it as part of your setup fee, it's yours to do with however you want.
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Anyway, you never said who covers the cost of inventory or whether it is purely print on demand.
Nope, he covers the cost of all inventory. The only time you pay for any of your own books is if you're buying some to resell at shows, conventions, in person, stuff like that. Even the big houses do that. And orders are not POD. He's got the capabilities to print his own stuff in any quantity up to like 300 units or so, which works well when filling emergency orders. After that he just farms the work out to one of several big digital printing companies around here who can do anything from 50 to 500,000 copies, which is a load off his back and makes it easier on him if it's a large order.
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Are the copies for the signings included in the package price or is that an extra?
Well, there's two types of signings. The first is the "paid" event. IE, you pay a store or location for the "privilege" of being allowed to come into "their" store and sign your books. Thankfully there aren't many of these, but they do tend to net you some nice returns. The second kind is the "free" signings, where you come in and do a signing at no cost to you. Some of the packages he has include "2 free signings". IE, you "paid" signings, since they cost him money to do. But you can have as many free ones as you like. And if you start selling enough copies of your book, he'll even toss more paid ones in for free. ^_^
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I'm sceptical about vanity publishing, particularly when there are so many other options available for self-publishing, but I'd acknowledge there are good and bad vanity publishers. I'm glad you're happy with your choice.
Well, PTP, POD and Vanity publishers (PTP != Vanity) work well for the authors who either don't know the industry good enough to go it entirely on their own, or don't have the resources, and thus find it best to let someone else who knows the industry handle all the dirty work. And trust me when I say this, having done some web work for him, and having sat in his office as he's working, I've learned some incredible things about both the complexity, and general insanity of the publishing world. Anyone who does successfully go it alone, I applaud them. It's a lot of hard work and enough to make you pull your hair out. In fact, it's almost as though the entire industry is setup in such a way as to prevent people from succeeding unless they go with one of the big houses. But thanks to the internet, and PTP publishers like 2 Moon, plus places like this website, that wall is being torn down bigtime. ^_^
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Have you made a profit over all?
Actually, yes I have. Quite a bit already actually. We're right now working to get enough sales to get me on a best seller list by the end of the year. (FYI, to get on *ANY* best seller list, you need at least 250,000 copies sold.)
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:41 AM   #23
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:43 PM   #24
Steven Lake
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Thanks. And glad I could help. ^_^
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:51 PM   #25
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ImogenRose, I'm publishing through a small house publisher called 2 Moon Press. I really like them. They treat you like a human being, and not cattle to be exploited like the big houses do.

lene1949: Books-A-Million, a collectible book site, was the one that had it for sale at $165. But that was a couple days ago. I just checked again and they don't have it anymore. And no, I'm not trying to weezle out of showing you the link. I just don't have it anymore. Yeah, I admit I probably should have saved the link as proof, or did a screen shot, but alas, I failed to. I guess on less believable subjects like this, I should likely include such a thing for the doubters.

However, I do have a consolation prize for you. While the one that shows the $165 copy is gone, here's an amazon page showing 3 out of 4 sellers offering it for higher than list price, with one asking as much as $75 for a copy. I hope that's sufficient proof.
Thank you, Steven. I'll check them out.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:26 AM   #26
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Hi guys,

this was an interesting post. I've always wondered about PTP houses, but this clarified the issue I had in mind.

Cheers,

Heikki

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