I got this email today. I have deleted the name of the book and the author:
I read something you
wrote about AuthorHouse and its too-good-to-be-true (because it is) package and
stuff, ending with “whoever signs up for this ‘publishing package’
is a dimwit who deserves to be taken for every last cent he has”.
looking at one. Wish I’d read this missive before dealing with
AuthorHouse. POD means “Preys On Dimwits”. If that fits, pass it
around. Just don’t tell AH I said that. (groan)
My long-awaited (by me and my friends anyway)book XYZ went live in October 2004.
Blood, sweat and tears went into that damn thing. I was placing my “baby”
in the hands of people I trusted. (BTW, my contract with AH runs out in Oct.
2006) Really a shot in the arm to get my 30 free books (which I mostly GAVE
AWAY, thinking nobody would actually pay the $11.95 AH wanted for it. I get
like 80 cents per book). I went through the finished product and proofread it
after the fact….why? Because I couldn’t afford the proofreading
services like everything else they tacked onto the bill. Typos fixed at $10 a
word (or close to it). A typo on the back cover took $30 to fix. Punctuation
problems blamed on me. Because they print, word for word, everything you give
them, typos or not. If that is not a red flag my friend, it should be on fire. I’ve
made a whopping $17.98 or so. They sent me my W-2 form for the tax returns. Oh,
break out the bubbly!
I sunk more than $1000 into the PRINTING, not publication, of my book (a trade-sized
paperback) that is in the middle of being rewritten (typos removed, new characters, new crises and fleshing out of the story; it’s called “author’s remorse” [you could’ve done better before it went to print]. I want to send this to a REAL publisher…. “Traditional” means nothing nowadays).
Long story short, I like what you write about this POD stuff. Just sorry I didn’t read it
sooner. Think I have any hope?
You’ve learned an important and expensive lesson. Now, if I were you, I’d focus less on getting published and more on just writing a good book. Because in addition to going to Authorhouse, you made another serious error — you sent in a deeply flawed manuscript. The punctuation problems are your fault. And by your own admission, the manuscript still needed work. So here’s another lesson you can glean from this experience — don’t submit a manuscript to agents or editors that’s riddled with typos, punctuation errors and has a lackluster story that needs new characters, new crises, and fleshing out.