What’s Under That Rock?

We’re not quite sure how we missed it back in March (although it might have been that one night when Rich Meyer spiked the gruel). But it came to our attention this week that Lulu, the print-on-demand company that many indies use instead of CreateSpace for their hard-copy books, began offering bundles of book publishing and marketing services a few months ago. Ranging in price from $999 to $3,199, the packages include such services as a custom cover, interior layout and design, e-book formatting, and an ISBN. At the $1,999 level, your book receives an “editorial review” and a “cover copy polish.” At the $2,999 level, you also get a website.

I bet you hadn’t noticed yet that you can get all this stuff on your own for significantly less – and in many cases, for free. So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Lulu has contracted out these services to our old friend Author Solutions.

You remember Author Solutions, right? The vanity publisher that’s now calling itself “the world leader in indie book publishing”? The company that Random Penguin bought last year?

Why is it that every time you kick over a rock in the indie publishing world these days, Author Solutions comes crawling out from under it? Continue reading “What’s Under That Rock?”

LynneQuisition: David Gaughran

My LynneQuisition victim – er, guest – this month is David Gaughran. David probably needs no introduction to this crowd. He’s the author of a couple of novels and a short story collection, as well as the bestselling Let’s Get Digital about the nuts and bolts of indie publishing (which, as it happens, is 99 cents at Amazon this weekend). His new book, Let’s Get Visible, is all about marketing, which the gods know I need help with.

Buy Let’s Get Digital from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Buy Let’s get Visible from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

So David, thanks very much for writing this. Nearly all of the “how to” books about making money at Amazon are from the P.A.C. (Pre-Algorithm Change) era. I get the sense that you still think Select is worthwhile — at least for some authors, or for authors in some genres.

Continue reading “LynneQuisition: David Gaughran”

The Biggest Vanity Predators: PublishAmerica and Author Solutions

Thank you for finding Indies Unlimited.

Here at IU, we do our best to provide helpful information to indie authors of all levels. Our goal is to provide the knowledge they need to make intelligent decisions about writing and publishing. We are not, however, a watchdog site, nor do we try to be. There are other sites out there, such as Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors, which dedicate their resources to identifying scammers.

Despite all the efforts to make authors aware of predators looking to make money off of them, the best tool is actually knowing how to spot a scam. That knowledge will enable authors, no matter how often the scammer changes its name, to avoid being taken advantage of. In March 2015, we we ran a month-long series called #PublishingFoul to teach authors how to avoid scams, and to help them to get out of situations with bad publishers.

Thank you again for finding Indies Unlimited.

– The Admins