When John Kremer, Rick Frishman and Judith Briles published Show Me About Book Publishing, they shared a story about Sally. Sally wanted to open a Sewing Shoppe.
Her objective was to be successful.
What if you were Sally and wanted to open Sally’s Sewing Shoppe? Wouldn’t it make sense that you knew about sewing? About the machine and how it works? Maybe inkling about fabric types? How about sewing accessories? If you wanted to open Sally’s Sewing Shoppe, your answer would be yes. And so must the other three questions that were asked: you should be answering yes, yes and yes.
Viva the Difference
When you self-publish, and you contract with an AuthorHouse, Author Solutions, iUniverse, Xlibris or a LuLu, you are sharing the profit.
Their name is on the door, not yours. Whoosh—with the use of their name, you could easily see 50 percent plus of your profits exit overnight just because you used their name … and you didn’t think you knew enough to do it yourself … or your didn’t think you had enough money (or didn’t want to) to front the start up expenses of your publishing enterprise. Or didn’t want to learn some of the ins and outs of publishing.
With self and independent publishing, you are opening a business. If Sally’s Sewing Shoppe needs a sewing machine repair person, a seamstress or a specialist in designing kid’s costumes, it hires a person who can fill the bill on a fee basis—each job has a cost to it.
Hopefully, the cost of the services will be far less than the revenues that are created. What’s left over is the profit. Yours—all of it. It’s the same in publishing. Seamstresses, sewing machine repairs and kid’s costume designers can be likened to editors, cover designers and printers. You have a job that needs to be done; they bid on it.
You hire who you want and pay them on completion. You don’t share your profits with them. When you use today’s modern vanity presses—LuLu, AuthorHouse, Author Solutions, iUniverse, Xlibris, etc., your profitability is severely limited.
As the owner of Sally’s Sewing Shoppe, you could hire, and fire, vendors and suppliers. You make all the decisions. If you don’t want to work with or use someone, you go somewhere else. It’s still your place, Sally’s Sewing Shoppe.
Not so with vanity press and pay to publish operations. When you publish through anything that doesn’t have your name, you lose that option. You get to start over if you decide you don’t like the establishment. New ISBN, new files, new cover design— new, new, new.