Sure, We’ll Publish Your Novel…for $24,999!

November 28, 2012

Holy guacamole! Simon & Schuster announced their foray into self-publishing…for a hefty price. Oh sure, the 24K price tag is a “luxury” option, but is $1599 (the lowest-price option) really a deal?

Here’s where I have to say I’m a self-publishing virgin. I’ve done little research into the opportunity. All I know I know from friends who have done it…sometimes in the backseat of a car. (I kid.) Honestly, I have no idea what a writer spends to self-publish a book. Is $1599 reasonable?

First, let’s see what that $1599 gets us.

I signed up for information from Archway Publishing, the self-publishing arm of Simon & Schuster. Via their online guide, I learned the low-cost option for me, a fiction writer, is $1999. What would I get for that? The package would provide me with guidance from multiple people throughout the process. (I’m not sure how much guidance though. Can I call directly? Email only? Can I call daily? Hourly? Is it one email per production step? Might be good to know.) I’d get the usual, like an ISBN, copyright registration, Library of Congress control number. (At least I think those are usual. Don’t all books self-published or not get these?) I’d get a “standard” cover design and “standard” layout. (The examples are pleasant, including stock options. Authors can also submit their own images too.) I’d get a copy cover review, an editorial assessment (of 1,700 words), Channel Distribution, a personalized bookstore page, Google and Amazon search programs, Barnes and Noble “See Inside the Book,” an author copy (can buy more at a discount), soft cover B&W publishing (not sure what this means other than trade paperback, but maybe the cover is B&W), 5 paperback copies, e-book publishing and 10 BookStubs (cards for marketing).

For those of you who have self-published before, does this sound like a good deal? Did you spend as much, less, more? I’m seriously curious.

As for a luxury plan, the top-tier plan for fiction writers is $14,999 and includes dedicated guidance from a single publishing expert, a social media publicist and more of everything above. A social media publicist? Could be fun. But $14,999. Think of all the books I’d have to sell to break even.

For someone like me, with a background in traditional publishing, I’m slow to put my money on the line. My words and name are enough. But I’d love to know your thoughts, especially if you’ve self-published before. Is $1999-$14999 to publish a book exploitation of writers and the current trends in publishing, or is it a more controlled opportunity for those willing to take the risk?



4 Responses to “Sure, We’ll Publish Your Novel…for $24,999!”

  1. taristhread Says:

    I would self publish e-books, but personally I would never “Pay to publish”. I want to GET paid. I know 2 people who have self published with vanity presses, and neither even broke even.

    I’ll keep working toward traditional publishing, and I won’t count out self publishing online, but self publishing with a vanity press is not for me.

    • Yep. This is how I look at it. That break-even point seems so daunting when you’re spending 24K!! And how do you celebrate the little success you deserve to be celebrating when you’re already so deep in the hole? Not for me. 🙂


  2. yhosby Says:

    I wouldn’t go for that company. Vanity publishing is bad and a waste of money. You can self-publish for free or a low rate at createspace or; if you only want an ebook, then on amazon kindle direct and smashwords. They offer free ISBNS. With self-publishing, the only expenses you should endure is for a cover design artist and editing. You should find these independently on your own–not through a vanity publisher. They’ll give you low quality and charge you a lot. Absolute Write Forums has a section for self-publishing and offer a lot of good advice on self-publishing the right way. Hope that helped. Good luck with your publishing journey. I’ll be self-publishing next year too!

    Keep smiling,

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