I often get advertisement pieces from printers calling themselves publishers. One feature common to these offerings is the use of package deals, most of which are named with exotic titles such as the “Gold Program” or the “Star Package.” These special deals provide varying deals based around pre-press services, printing of a certain number of books, and even marketing offers. Here are a few things you should be aware of:
Each package is optimized for the max number of pages or words offered by the package deal. That means the best per page price you will ever get from them for that package is for the max number of pages they offer. Any number less than that means the per page price just keeps going up and up. For example, If the max pages allowable by a certain program is 300 pages and you have produced 250 pages, you will be getting those 250 pages at the 300 pages price.
Oft times the company will offer glowing expectations for royalties described as being in the thousands of dollars. In fact, the company is shooting for the friends and family market, some of whom have the gall to ask you for a list of everyone in your family and your friends who might be interested in purchasing your book. That book will often be way overpriced for the booksellers’ market, meaning bookstores won’t have an interest in carrying your books for the general public. Friends and family, however, may well pay the inflated price to see their loved one’s book. Once the list of contacts you provided are contacted for sales of your book, the company moves on to the next author, even if they say they’ll market your title for years to come.
This is why experienced folks in the book business warn about the sharks and barracudas out there. Consider yourself warned.