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Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Self-Publish Your Book Cheap, not Cheaply

I've been seeing far too many new authors publish with vanity presses and spend huge amounts of money, when they could do it themselves for much less, and end up with a better book.

These "self-publishing houses" which promise to publish you for thousands of dollars are, IMHO (and I'm not alone in feeling this way) such a rip off! 

Don't Get SCAMMED by a Vanity Publisher

Why yes, I will name names. I have to, since this post is meant to keep you from getting ripped off. In particular, I'm talking about:
  • Author Solutions (and its imprints, many listed below)
  • Author House
  • iUniverse
  • Outskirts Press
  • Xlibris
  • Trafford Publishing 
  • PublishAmerica (now remamed AmericaStar Books) - they say they are "free" but charge money for editing and more, and take control of your books.
Edited to Add: I found another vanity press charging up to $2K and disguised as a "self-publishing service":
  • Fast Pencil (and its imprints:)
    ~ Premiere
    ~ WaveCrest.
If you want to add one in the comments, feel free. There are more than I listed here.

Here's a few articles about the real deal with them:

Let's compare what most of these guys are offering for $999 against what the real cost is when I self-publish. Sometimes these vanity presses offer "basic" packages for paperback and ebook for $699, or packages that essentially just format your ebook and put it up for you, for $499 (or this one that doesn't even offer everything on the list below). I've seen these books and IMO they almost always do a really bad job, and, there are tons of articles about how they don't pay the royalties they should, which you might want to Google around for. Just put the name of the vanity press + Scam into Google).

"All Diamond books include" (for $999):
  • standard interior black & white layout: real cost is $50 for ebooks at Ebook Formatting Fairies (I've used them before and love them)
  • an ISBN number: free at the retailers (Createspace and Smashwords (which distributes everywhere but Amazon), and Amazon, and B&N
  • a price-embedded barcode: free with free Createspace (I use them for all of my self-pub paperbacks.) 
  • and unlimited wholesale printing, fulfillment, and distribution via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, Baker &Taylor, Bertram, and others: free with Createspace and Smashwords (to reach everyone on that list plus more, except Amazon), and Amazon, and B&N
  • Paperback formatting: real cost is $50 for print layout for Createspace at Ebook Formatting Fairies or use a company from Mark's List
  • Standard web page: free with Wordpress, or $50-$250 to have one made for you by Winterheart (I've worked with them before I started spending more money) $13 for custom domain name with GoDaddy. Get the domain for even cheaper with these promo codes.
  • Cover (they offer a basic style you add your name to): To do exactly what the vanity presses offer, you can use the Createspace cover creator here for free. You can also make an ebook cover for free (or $1 per image or specialized text) at Canva. For a professional premade cover, most covers start at $69 for a one-of-a-kind cover from SelfPubBookCovers.com (full disclosure: I own that company, but you can go anywhere, it's your choice), or even cheaper depending on who you go with. Here's a list which includes cover designers and formatters, too: http://www.smashwords.com/list. Be prepared that many custom-designed professional covers cost around $200 and up. You can spend a lot on covers or nothing, it's up to you.
  • Press release: they don't appear to even offer distribution! Writing a press release is easy, and that's all they're offering you. So that's free. And at PRWeb, it's $99 with distribution everywhere. http://service.prweb.com/pricing/
  • Audio excerpt: pointless unless you have an audiobook, which you can have made for free using a royalty share with the narrator at ACX.com
  • 10 author paperback copies: costs about $3 per book using author discount at Createspace, so $30. 
In conclusion, they are offering for $999 what would cost you $130 total for ebook formatting and some author copies - the rest of the "package" is just free stuff already available to you if you know where to look, which now you do!

You can get the same things, but WAY BETTER and more professional AND have pros do it all for you, for a grand total of less than $300 plus the cost of a cover (they aren't giving you a cover anyway, they're offering the same tool that you can get at Createspace cover creator here for free), but a pro cover adds anywhere from $50 to $250. So you'd spend a total of $300 - $550 (high end includes highest cost cover), and you'd have all the control, all the royalties sent directly to you, and have a better product.

Hopefully this post will help new writers who want to self-publish and don't know where to start, save over $500.

Hiring an editor is always a big add-on expense at these publishers, but you can hire your own developmental or line editor for much cheaper, and also get a better manuscript!

Even if you don't go with an editor, and instead use critique partners and beta readers, I highly recommend hiring a copyeditor to help you make the actual book error-free. That costs about 2 cents a word. Just google around, I found this one online with good testimonials, but you can find more copyeditors on your own: http://revisionfairy.com/small-business-writing-consultant/copy-editing-services-order/

I wish you all the best. My goal with this post is help other authors keep their costs down and avoid getting ripped off.

Shoshanna Evers

Monday, July 28, 2014

Release Day for The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby!

It's release day for The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby!

Even better, it's on sale for just 99c for only a few more days before it goes up to $3.99!

The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers

Release Day Romp The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers
Release Day Romp!

I'm giving away prizes to a bunch of winners - including a $25 Amazon or B&N Giftcard, signed paperbacks and ebooks of another sexy tycoon romance - Snowed in with the Tycoon.
Please show these awesome Book Bloggers support, check them out, and enter to win!

The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers Blog Tour and Giveaway
Blog Tour!
PLUS I'm doing *another* big giveaway for a $50 Amazon or B&N Giftcard during my blog tour, from July 28th - August 8th!
Get The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby while it's still only 99c:  
After her brother and his wife go missing and are presumed dead, Lauren Peters plans to raise their infant daughter. Her brother’s will, however, stipulates that baby Callie can only be raised by a married couple. Lauren’s as single as they come.

 Mack Hansen can’t stand idly by while his business partner’s baby is thrown into a foster home. As he sees it, there’s only one solution—he and Lauren will marry for the sake of the baby—and he’ll keep his attraction to her at bay.

 Lauren knows that Mack is all about business, including their marriage of convenience. But her unexpected feelings for him have her turned upside down. With passion sizzling between them, can Mack keep Lauren from stealing his heart…and becoming his wife for real?

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Excerpt from The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride… and Baby

Check out the excerpt Entangled posted from The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride… and Baby!

I'm so excited about this book! :) It releases July 28th and is available for preorder.