Monday, August 22, 2016

Dispelling Publishing Industry Myths - Self-Publishing Tools vs. Publishing Services

As you know from last week I began to debunk some of the erroneous information some inexperienced writers spread around. Last week I discussed log-lines and why they’re necessary. This week I want to get into publishing industry costs. The woman who told everyone log-lines weren’t necessary is the same woman who is telling people they can get their books converted to eBooks for a mere $37 and that 3L Publishing book publishing packages were on the “high side”.

Let’s grab the $37 eBook conversion cost by the “3” and the “7” and call it insane. No, you cannot get your book (if it’s book size anyway) converted even in India for $37. Suggesting our conversion fees are expensive begs for a professional comparison. Please visit the Bowker website ( Here you’re going to see a number of costs for services including eBook conversion TOOLS. Well, actually all of the package prices are for TOOLS NOT services. At roughly half the cost of my basic 3L Publishing SERVICES you can do it all on your own (we mean "converting" it yourself), and Bowker, which is the most reputable ISBN and bar-code provider, will sell you TOOLS. Using these tools and hopefully your professional expertise as a writer and editor and conversion expertise you can self-publish and convert your own book. Now bear in mind you will also have to set up all of your own sales channels to sell your books, too.

The uphill battle I fight on a continuous basis is educating people about the difference between being a product provider (AKA tool provider) and a service provider (editing, writing, graphic design and publishing). Even the cost of the tools isn’t inexpensive, as you’ll see the packages on Bowker range from $350 to $750. Here’s the rub (and as my life partner Chris jokes): “Don’t get it twisted.”

If you want services, skill and expertise, you’re not going to get that custom and personal attention for the cost of a software program. We’re not an off-the-shelf product you can buy and upload into your computer. I am a professional editor, writer and publisher. Comparing 3L Publishing services to products sold to help you self-publish isn’t an equivalent.

Expecting publishing products to cost the same as publishing services is akin to buying a bottle of Windex and expecting the maid service to cost the same as the bottle.

You can see by this comparison the flawed thinking. Yet I come up against this kind of thinking all of the time. As a professional that can be difficult. People don’t understand the value of the service because so much misinformation and confusion exists about today’s publishing. When I come across writers like this woman who arrogantly posts on the Internet in a chat group that this is “the way it is” when they don’t know what they’re talking about my job is to educate. I have to through my own educational services like this newsletter help writers understand the flawed comparison.

When you self-publish you’re doing it all yourself! Packages sold on Bowkers are designed to help you do it YOURSELF. 3L Publishing is not a self-publisher. We’re a hybrid publishing service NOT a product.

Like any professional service it requires education, knowledge, skill and talent. These abilities come at the cost of an education, time and resources. When you visit a professional like a doctor or dentist you expect to pay for all of those skills. Hiring my team of experts to publish your book through our hybrid program is a professional service. Our costs are competitive and comparable to others. We can’t publish an entire book on the cheap. As Forrest Gump might say, “Cheap is as cheap does.” Do you want an award-winning book (several of our books have won awards) or do you want to look like you have a “do-it-yourselfer”?

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