9.02.2005

Booklocker.com

A Snarkling commented that Booklocker.com seemed to be a straightforward company that publishes using POD.

I ankled over for a quick look at the website.

It's clear they aren't trying to rip you off. There are no banner headlines about "be published now". She's got a list of reasons you shouldn't submit a manuscript, which makes me think she's a pretty savvy marketer. She says she makes her money on sales, not services. That's a good thing.

She's got her head on straight about discounts, and most important PRICE POINT for books.

If you're going to go POD, Booklocker.com looks like a reputable candidate.

But also notice, on the submission guidelines, she's rejecting for spelling, hate, and religion. No mention of "is it any good". And that's the nub. She's not going to rip you off, but there's a limited review process going on. That means, if you offer it up to me as a publishing credential, I'm not going to take it at face value.

This is the place for hobbyists. Snark Central is a place for people intent on making some serious dough on their work. One is not better than the other, they serve different needs.

7 comments:

Jill said...

Thank you, Miss Snarkiest of All...

Ms. Hoy is definitely savvy.

I would venture to say that there are agents who refuse manuscripts for similar reasons, though. I've read things like, "No stories about child abuse" and "No religion" on agent web sites.

One more thing. I was never a "hobbyist," as I had every intention of pursuing the marketing of my first book and a continuation of my career as a writer. Life "interfered" and my marketing plans did not materialize. As it stands, that's just as well, because I'm much happier in the new direction my writing has taken (fiction, via "traditional" means of publication).

POD might indeed be a place for hobbyists, I agree. But it is also a place for dedicated writers who are serious about taking the bull by the horns and getting their work out there. Truly, it's a place for both.

As for Snark Central -- no place for "hobbyists" here! I completely agree.

Thank you for taking the time to look into Booklocker.

Miss Snark said...

The thing about POD is no matter how serious YOU are about your writing, you can't make much money from it. That's what I intended by using the word "hobbyist". You're going to make $2.00 a book more or less, and you're going to sell every book you can but still..if you sell 1000, that would put you in the top .001 of POD authors. Even if you're paid the same rate by a major publisher, you've got more sales potential and you've got some of the money up front.

Jill said...

OK, please tell me, because I really need to know this:

If I sign with a publisher as a "B" author -- or worse yet, "C" -- what kind of sales effort would go into my "virgin author" novel on the part of the publisher?

And how much would fall on my shoulders?

Methinks that, unless I'm an "A" author, I don't get the huge B&N display tables, the international tours, the thousands of dollars poured into marketing my masterpiece.

If want to get the word out, I'm going to have to do a lot of marketing on my own -- correct?

In this vein, it's not so different from a POD.

And there have certainly been POD authors that have made BUCKETS of money. Seriously. I'm not one of them.

Booklocker authors who sell directly through Booklocker or on their own make a whopping 35% of list. Through Ingram, that gets whittled down to 15%. So a very enthusiastic seller can certainly make decent money, albeit with lots of effort.

So -- aside from the obvious benefit of distribution (an admitted downside to POD), what are the benefits ($) of traditional publishing to an author who doesn't merit an "A"?

Gabriele C. said...

Hm, since we're talking publishing anyway, I wonder about one thing. I've had a large part of a first version of my First Sucky Attempt at Novel Writing online because I didn't know better back in 2002. I've taken it down long ago, and I have to rewrite the sucker, but I still wonder if it counts as prepublished.

The novel (Hist Fic saga) will probably clock in at 150K, and I had 95K up. Of these, I've deleted about one third (an entire subplot), another third is going to be changed considerably (like instead of conflict 1 between A and B, it will be conflict 2 between A and C), but one third will only be edited. I still have most of the characters, the major plotline, though with some changes, and an entire subplot intact.

I like the story, despite its shortcomings, and I will try to kick it into shape. But I'm also going to be honest about having had most of it online. I'd like to know if I better post it at my blog and have some copies made via Lulu for my friends, or if I still stand a chance to find an agent/publisher for it.

BTW, I'm working on other projects besides, and those have never been online except for a few snippets.

roach said...

Even a "B" or "C" list author will get the following from any commercial publisher:

1) Placement in the publisher's catalog which is sent out to those responsible for ordering books for bookstores.

2) ARCs sent to reviewers (the number probably depends on where the author is on the food chain, but the ARCs will get sent out.)

The rest: advertising in magazines or online, spots on radio and/or TV shows, big displays at bookstores, go to those books the marketing department decide on.

However 1 will get your book into many more bookstores than POD will as it's up to the POD author to get her books into bookstores (and with the price of gas these days I'm sure POD authors can only drive to so many bookstores). Number 2 will most likely get the book more attention from reviewers, depending on whether the POD author goes for the ARC as well.

FWIW I'm not for or against POD publishing, just don't think you can really compare the legwork a commercially published author and a POD author have to do.

Caro said...

I think the reputable POD house does have a place -- after dealing with Lulu.com, I've recommended them to our church vestry as a much nicer place to publish the cookbook the altar guild wants to put together than the cookbook packager we used last time. Best of all, we won't get stuck with boxes of unsold copies that we have to store.

It is great for the hobbyists and people who want to publish family histories. I just finished acting as "editor" for the book a friend's recently widowed mother did of their family and it was an interesting experience. This was a focused purpose and the family decided to buy the package to get an ISBN and listing on Amazon because it made Mama "feel like a real author." She was able to hold the product in her hands and the process helped her through a difficult time for a relatively small amount of money. The family knew what they wanted and it wasn't dreams of a bestseller.

But would I list anything I did with Lulu was a "publishing credit"? No -- there really is no quality control on what you submit except what you give it (the book I did was dreadful), and what I may think sounds golden reads like drek to everyone who doesn't have a vested interest in it.

Anonymous said...

How would you define a hobbyist?