There are many people in the publishing world who continually look to organizations as predatory. When an author decides to self-publish or is an independent publisher, with more than one are two books that they’ve published, they must be on the lookout for those who would take advantage of them and take their hard-earned dollars. I agree that there are unscrupulous people who are looking to make a buck in any way possible. Rather than be accusatory my suggestion for authors and self publishers and independent publishers is to get the educational materials and background needed to make informed decisions on who they should work with.
Accusatory Marketing: The Only Thing We Have to Fear…
The current political climate of the country seems to have everyone pointing fingers at each other that “so and so” is a bad guy and you should not work with them. This marketing through fear is a great strategy for those who practice it, but what are the protections against these accusers themselves? Someone who has not been educated and informed has absolutely no way of knowing whether the information they are receiving from a predator accuser and the money they’re spending is well spent. If one person is completely controlling the project, the individual author can only hope that that person has their best interests in the forefront as they are completing it. Human nature would seem to point in the direction that there would be those individuals who actually do have the author’s best interests at heart but conversely there would be a large segment in the category of predatory as well.
If you were about to invest in the stock market and someone had given you a tip on what stock to buy, you would take the time and energy to do some research on this particular stock before you invested any of your hard-earned money into this financial gamble. If you had a problem with your car and one mechanic said it would cost you $2000 to get your transmission fixed, you would do some research and possibly go to another mechanic, if your car was drivable, to see if the cost that was quoted to you was accurate and trustworthy. If you had a non-life threatening illness and one doctor prescribed surgery, you would take the time to go to another doctor to see if he agreed with the original doctor’s diagnosis. Why wouldn’t you do this for your book project? You do not have to be a publishing expert or pundit to learn the foundation of knowing how to examine and critique the various functions necessary to construct an e-book or print book. Take the time to be involved in your project. Ask to see all of the bids for the prepress and print aspects of your title. Find out what the marketing is going to cost initially and find out what that marketing will entail. You took the time to write the book, why give the keys to the car to someone else as you are nearing the finish line?
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I’m not passing judgment on anyone in the publishing industry that is making an effort to help authors get their titles completed. I am just making the plea as Sy Sims used to say on the old men’s wardrobe commercials, “An Educated Consumer is our BEST Customer”. Educate yourself into being the best publishing customer you can be. Your checkbook, wallet and credit cards will love you for making this investment in your own project of intellectual property.
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