I was recently engaged in a conversation with an opponent of self publishing who possessed an obvious hatred of Amazon, and had little understanding of self publishing in general. I thought I'd post my final response here as it contains some interesting comparisons for anyone considering the self publishing route.
Names have been deleted to protect the innocent.
Thank you for your responses to my inquires., I engaged you in this conversation to get a little insight from the other side of the aisle. To understand why, aside from the obvious factors of sub par execution, many people are so down on self publishing.
The biggest thing that jumps out at me while reading your two articles and your responses is that you really don’t know as much about self publishing as you believe you do. Your views are also shaded by your obvious hatred of Amazon.
As one who has first hand experience with self publishing in the present, and the past, I can tell you from experience that your beliefs are misguided. For starters you confuse self publishing with Vanity publishing. They are two entirely different animals. You lump Amazon in with S and S and Vanguard as those publishers who rip off aspiring writers.
Let me give you an example of this. With S and S to have your book published in print and as an e-book there is an upfront fee for everyone that starts at $749.00. For that you get a custom color cover, interior design, ISBN assignment, a complimentary copy, author support via a free subscription to their self publishing learning center. as well as digital formatting and distribution.
Take your pick of any of the vanity publishers listed, the packages will be similar.
While you’re there check out the list prices of books already published in their bookstore. For a 332 page book prices start at 19.99 for perfect bound soft cover. A royalty of $2.53 is paid to the author for each copy sold. Authors can purchase up to 24 copies for a discount of 30%, with the discount increasing to 60% for orders in excess of 1000 copies. Let’s see that’s 19.99 minus 30% ($5.99) equals 14.00. Shipping charges are not included. All of this info is available via the FAQ’s
Doing it myself through Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing and Create space, their print on demand division, I can get a similar package for $10.00 if I want a custom isbn that lists the imprint of my choice as the publisher, $0.00 if I opt to list Create space as the print publisher. Granted I will have to do the formatting so my book files print properly, and design a cover, but they have a community of freelance professionals who can format a book for print for as low as $50.00. I can get a professional cover design for a couple of hundred bucks. Using these option I’m $260.00 into the project, with $10.00 of it going to Amazon, if I choose that. The finished print product will be listed at all major online retailers, not just Amazon, imagine that, Amazon sharing with Barnes & Noble.
Another point to consider is pricing. A 332 page perfect bound soft cover can be listed for as low as 9.99 with the author still making 2.29 on each copy sold through Amazon, and $4.29 on each copy sold through the Create Space book store. This same 332 page book can be purchased by the author for $3.40 each, plus shipping and handling.
Everything I just showed you can be found here.
If you honestly compare the two, who is ripping off the writer?