I received this email today and thought I’d share. It seems we are going to have to pay for Global Distribution for each and every ebook we upload… If you wish GLOBAL…
Dear Lulu Author,
We’re contacting you today because you currently have Ebook projects using our Global Distribution service.
Effective February 15th, 2021, all new ebook projects submitted to Global Distribution will include a one-time fee of $4.99. The fee covers processing your ebook for submission to retail channels. This fee does not apply to existing ebooks using Global Distribution, nor does it apply to any revisions of new or existing ebooks.
If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact our support team.
Over the years, I’ve had bad experiences with clients. I’m sure we all have and we move on and forward, take it as a lesson learnt and not repeat it. Most of the time it works, however when COURTESY is lacking then I will take a stand. It doesn’t take much to message someone who you were working with to produce a book and let them know you’re going to use someone else.
We all lose jobs or clients at times, though when you’ve worked hard for them including FREE work, then surely it would be a COURTESY let me know they are going to use someone else. I’m upset at the lack of a message, especially after all I did for them. I feel bruised and USED. Like I said another lesson learnt. From now on I won’t be doing any FREE or CHEAP work for those caught out by SCAMMERS mainly because I don’t want to find a post on Facebook saying BOOK LIVE on a manuscript I was waiting to format without realising I wasn’t getting it this time…
No they don’t have to chose my business to do the work even though I’ve redone three books at cost, organised an new illustrator and redesigned several books due to copyright infringement, where they could’ve gotten sued. However, to find them using someone else for interior design without even messaging me is just bloody rude. They could at least tell me WHY?
Finding out why… apparently they didn’t like my FEES for Book three. Get this… I sort out one book making sure DPI was correct, formatting was situated correctly, checking each part for approval, then once approved I make an ebook and I’m asked to upload to their distributor. Then the paperback. No charge. Then we come to the first and second book in a series both of which had copyright issues for which the author could’ve been sued. I find an illustrator, we redo both books and I upload to distributor in ebook and paperback. All approved by client. I only charge $20 USD for uploading due to author being scammed. Now the third book is sorted the same way. I put in real charges this time and yes they knew this. Consultation, sizing of images, formatting of words, approvals, uploads…making ebook and paperback and more. I charged $180 USD. I should’ve been more with an hour rate, though I was still trying to be nice due to them been SCAMMED. I’m not sure how the illustrator feels, though I’m sure they are out of pocket as well.
Now I feel like they SCAMMED me…All the hours I worked on these books and I get paid $220 USD. Way below the minimum wage in the USA and in NZ if I add up the actual hours of work.
FIVERR and those who offer Formatting, also known as Interior Book Design, through this platform can be awesome and then not so much. Authors, especially new ones, need to know how to research and get the best. It’s time for those questions again. All Authors need to know what questions to ask to find a good business to help them get the work done. The company also needs to know various things so they can get your Formatting correct without too many edits.
First thing. Remember how long it took you to write your novel! Well, Formatting isn’t done in an hour! I honestly wouldn’t touch any business who says they can format your work for $10 in an hour. There is bound to be something wrong.
Today I watched a video about Formatting. Some useful information, and with the book open on the screen, they showed the results. It was the results which caught my attention. Two things wrong from what I saw. First, the indents looked too big and secondly, the text wasn’t justified. Though, this doesn’t matter on eBooks, in PRINT it is a MUST…Go look at any traditional book, and you’ll see the right hand edges of the text are straight. If PRINT books aren’t Justified, they look horrible. I’m exceptionally fussy, and I won’t even read a manuscript unless it is justified. It’s the first thing I do on a clients manuscript. I will also teach a client how to do this, so they know for next time. You will also find 99% of what I write on my blog is JUSTIFIED. Those articles not Justified are usually SHARED LINKS. I think having your text makes it look nice and tidy.
If you are going to offer a SERVICE to an AUTHOR, please make sure you know what you’re doing. It’s a hell of a learning curve and, unlike many, I’m self-taught and learnt the hard way. I’ve learnt so much now that I’m updating my own books as well as past clients.
QUESTIONS to Ask an INTERIOR BOOK DESIGNER
1. What type of books do you format? 2. What fonts do you suggest for my genre? 3. What size fonts will you use? 4. Do you use the same font for Headings & Titles or blend fonts to work together? 5. What book size do you suggest for Paperback and hardback? 6. What is the best indent size? 7. Do you Justify text? 8. Can you do Contents pages and Linked Contents for eBooks? 9. Headings, Page numbers – Starting at Chapter One, Dropped Caps and Header information? 10. Can your format full-colour children’s books for Paperback and eBook? 11. Do you have samples of your work?
You could probably add a lot more to this list. Make sure you have a good look at the traditional books you see. They can give useful pointers in how you may like to have your text laid out.
QUESTIONS FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
1. Font and font size are important, depending on the age of your readers. 2. Do they have experience with Full-colour children’s eBooks and PRINT 3. Do they have experience with BLEED! Will your book have a bleed or not. 4. How do they turn a full-colour book into an eBook and PRINT, so it comes out correct. 5. Will they check the IMAGES are 300 DPI if need be?
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This once again depends on experience and what you want your book to look like. It can also depend on how long the book is. Is it a Novella, Novel or Saga? Is it a Children’s book and if so, what kind?
Once again, as with assisting new authors with bad work, generally from FIVERR Businesses is something we do at Plaisted Publishing House. It can be trying and tiring work, especially if it is a full-colour children’s book. I have assisted with two of these in recent months. If you only pay small amounts, it should clue you in, they may not be as professional or experienced as you might think. I dislike seeing people ripped off, especially if they are on a budget like most Independent Authors are. We’re not all rich, and many of us have jobs outside the home to pay the bills.
Don’t complain about paying someone either. A slightly higher fee could mean better work and that you’re less likely to need someone else to do edits. Remember you pay the plumber to do their job! I have seen bad work. I’ve seen good work. Please do your homework and RESEARCH before you hire anyone.
KNOW WHAT TO ASK, WHEN TO ASK AND MAKE SURE YOU SEE SAMPLES. IF YOUR INSTINCT SAYS ‘HELL NO’ THEN LISTEN TO IT. IT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF BAD FORMATTING FROM FIVERR FOR AN EBOOK. WHEN I WENT TO HELP THE AUTHOR, I LOOKED AT THE MOBI FILE, AND THIS IS WHAT I FOUND. I NEVER DID TELL THEM…TO HORRIFIED.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I DID TO MEND THE ABOVE FILE (DIFFERENT PAGE) AND MAKE THE IMAGE LOOK LIKE THE PAGES FROM A PAPERBACK BOOK.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, IT CAN TAKE A WHILE TO SORT THINGS OUT. MAKING SURE IMAGES ARE THE RIGHT DPI AND SIZE – ESPECIALLY FOR PAPERBACKS.
One last thing. I’m still learning. I will always be learning my trade, updating how things are done as technology changes. I’m happy to learn the same as I’m happy to share the Pros and Cons of looking for the right contractor, be it an illustrator, editor or interior book designer.
PLEASE RESEARCH! NEXT TIME I WILL TALK ABOUT EDITING
Many new authors use Fiverr as a cheap place to go and get work done on their books, be it a book cover, images inside a book, editing or formatting. All I can say is please check and research anyone you use, especially from Fiverr and similar sites.
Yes, there are some great people on there, the same as there are in places like Reedsy. Please read their reviews, ask other authors who they use with success. Ask questions of the contractor who wish to use. Find out what questions you need to ask.
My issue with Fiverr, is there are a lot of …well…not so good designers there. After all, you get what you pay for.
Why am I talking about this? Well in the last two months, I have assisted two different authors with their books. First of all the images were the wrong DPI – pixels per inch. If you’re making a paperback book, any images and book covers MUST be at least 300 dpi. It is only with eBooks that the dpi can be lower – 92 to 96 dpi is good.
Another issue is how images are layered! Or were they done with copy and paste? A good artist, illustrator or graphic designer should LAYER images and building them up…NOT copy and paste. When things go wrong it takes a long time to sort out the mess. It’s the same with sizing a manuscript for the paperback. What is the size of your paperback? Do you need a bleed or is it a no bleed book? These are two other issues I’ve had to sort out.
To me Fiverr is starting to become as bad as Vanity Press, though at least you can get a refund with Fiverr.
I know at least one good graphic designer on Fiverr – If they’re still working because, like many new authors, I was one too…once. Seren Waters is a great graphic designer. Maybe it’s time for me to touch base with him again.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH YOUR CONTRACTORS BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM OR GO ASK THOSE SIMILAR TO US WHO RUN AUTHOR SERVICES AND OR AUTHOR ASSIST BUSINESSES. WE WON’T LET YOU DOWN AND YOU WILL GET GOOD ADVICE AND SERVICE.
As a Publishing House, we watch technology to see how it changes relevant to Self Publishing. We are now getting more and more choices for Print on Demand Books.
Here are some distributors who can help you self publish your book. Do remember there is a lot of work involved after you’ve finished writing. Plaisted Publishing House has an Author Assist Program to help you get your manuscript in the best shape for Publishing with any of the companies below. You can find the Submission GuidelinesHERE
Distributors of Print on Demand
One of the most popular was Createspace which closed it’s doors and re-opened as KDPPrint. Fair enough they still do Print on Demand, though it seems there are still a lot of hassles for KDP Printto get it right. This seems strange considering how good Createspace used to be. I’d like to know how they’ve messed it up so much. It is one I now choose not to use as a Print on Demand Distributor, though we still use KDP for eBooks.
Then we have LULU. They also do Print on Demand and eBooks. It takes a while to learn all the ins and outs, not quite as simple as KDP Print. However, they print on cream paper…YAY, They have LIVE CHAT along with up to 50% Discounts. The only downer to many Independent Authors is you have to buy a proof before they will distribute WIDE whereas with KDP Print you can approve with a digital file at no cost.
SMASHWORDSonly do eBooks and it is still tricky. The layout for uploading is pretty easy to use, however, to get the document ready for their site is another matter. They are probably the fussiest of all distributors. The ebook cover has to be a certain size. For the uninitiated, it can be a nightmare of complications. On top of this, your manuscript has to be saved as Doc 97 which very few use anymore. We’ve been waiting for them to update for years.
Ingram Spark is a distributor of Print on Demand. We use this company with several of our clients. They do cost so it is up to the author if they wish to have an account with them. On top of this, they also do Book Covers differently. Instead of RGB colours, they use the CMYK which you use at home with your printer. You also need to download their templates for the book cover size and make sure you add the 5mm on the top, bottom and the unbound edge of the cover and the interior. Make sure you use margins or your file can be rejected.
Draft to Digital is a great distributor for ebooks. They have templates you can use, however, I’m not overly keen on them when I see the files. Some looked pushed up and without the correct spacing. To us this is annoying. They do a good royalty share. Today they ran out their Beta Print Book for testing Print on Demand for Authors to try out. We may well try. We’ve already heard about issues…They don’t do wrap covers…yet. We also noted in the email we received that the royalty share was 40% of the list price and they still take off print cost. Where does the other 60% go? We haven’t seen or read about this yet and will keep our eyes peeled to find this information. Confused? We are too.
These are the Print on Demand distributors most of us know about. However, Europe is digging in their heels with their own companies. Do you want your Self Published Book for sale in Europe? One site we were introduced to also do translations on a royalty share scheme. I suppose this would be a bit like with ACXand Audiobooks.
There you go…Information on ‘How to Self Publish a Book.’ Don’t forget we are here to help you.
IntroducingMay Dawneyyou recently put this post up in a group on Facebook. It is a good read and it certainly makes you think. Please remember nobody is picking on anyone. It is an observation made which affects those writers and businesses – like me, who live outside the USA.
Thank you, May Dawney, for this great article.
Amazon Pulls Another Stunt.
Amazon has decided that anyone who wants to leave a review on a book or other article has to have spent a minimum of $50 in that store, in a 12 month period. I’m not happy about it, but I get it. That’s not what I want to discuss. We all have our opinion on the topic and all are valid and appreciated. I have, however, noticed something I would like to address: please check your privilege before you post on these topics.
#1 Maybe $50 is not a lot for you. Great! Some reviewers had to scrape by to get that money for weeks, or months, or years, and they are devastated they’ll have to do it yearly now. Having $50 to spend on non-essentials like books is a privilege. Please, keep that in mind.
#2 Not all reviewers are in the US. If they want to review on .com and their home store like before, they now have to spend $ 100 a year. See #1.
#3 Non-US reviewers can’t buy e-books in the .com store. They have to buy something physical over $50 and have that shipped over (usually at ridiculous costs) to meet the $ 50 requirement. For them, $50 is not $50. It’s a hassle and it’s frustrating. Also: see #1--if you’re already scraping by and $50 becomes $70 because of shipping, it’s tough. People outside of the US also pay an import tax of 10 – 21 percent, depending on the country, on any purchase over a certain value, so a $ 50 order can quickly turn into a $ 100 one.
#4 Not every author gets a ton of reviews, period, let alone in the US store. If you do, that’s a privilege. Saying “Oh, I can stand to lose a few” is not true for everyone. Please, keep that in mind.
#5 Not every author is most popular in the US. Some have predominantly UK (or EU, or NZ, or Asian) readers. Promo sites look almost exclusively at the US store to see if a book qualifies, and this new rule thus skewers the odds of a good promo like Bookbub in the favor of authors with a US reader/reviewer base. If you are one, and you won’t be affected by the changes in this way, then please check your privilege again.
#6 .com reviews are pushed out across all Amazon stores as “Reviewed on amazon.com” reviews until that store gathers five reviews of its own. It does not work the other way around. Say I have twenty reviews on UK, they won’t show up on .co if I have less than five there. See #5 about why this is a problem and the disadvantages enforced by the new system.
If you’re an author with a predominantly Us-based review base, please realize that you have been given an advantage by this new rule. If you are an author with predominantly US-based readers, please realize you have been given and advantage by this new rule. Please also realize that if you fall in either of these categories, you had a head-start to begin with, because Amazon hasn’t rolled out Kindle Unlimited or AMS ads in all areas. You were already ahead of the pack and now you’ve been given an even greater head-start. No one is saying that people who fall into either category haven’t worked hard to get there, nor that reviews are the pinnacle of authorship. Lots of things sell a book. What is important is that to some people, reviews are very important and Amazon has instituted a rule that makes it harder for some to get .com reviews than others in a system where .com reviews are more important. This matters, and it matters to some more than others.
I would say ‘what a joke.’ It is idiotic how KINDLE treat authors who wish to give their books away. How hard can it be and why is it so hard to do this with Kindle?
Why is it so hard?
I have no bloody idea. They could make it simple like Smashwords, Google Play and Draft to Digital. But nope they want to confuse you and make it as hard as possible to put your book up for FREE. I am sure they just have it in for Indie Authors. I can’t see Traditional Publishers jumping through the same hoops we have to.
So what to do?
I remember back to publishing the ‘Awethology’ anthologies in Oct 2015. Bit of a nightmare having to publish early on another sight so I could get the books up for FREE on KINDLE on the right date. First they did a couple of countries, then i had authors email me saying it wasn’t FREE in their country yet. It took a while to sort out. I have now done this a few times and another author gave me an easy way to get it sorted faster.
Join Draft to Digital or Smashwords who both distribute to APPLE. Once APPLE have accepted the FREE eBook (They let you know on Draft to Digital) Then you go and click on the link and copy it into a document about ten times. Next you find out which countries APPLE Cover and change the initals at the end of the link. eg. uk is England, ca is Canada. Once you have them all save the document and you can use these links to send to Kindle to get them to make your book FREE
Simple. Just not as simple as Smashwords and Draft to Digital…Even Google Play will put them up for FREE without the nonsense Kindle insists on.