Book Publishers publish books. Book Publishing Services provide all or most of the necessary steps leading to the publishing of a book.

It is very important to know the difference between the two if you have written a book and plan to publish it.

Ram Pramschufer, a person I highly respect for being one of the most knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs in the digital book publishing industry, recently posted a brilliant article in his Publishing Basics newsletter. The Company's main website is BooksJustBooks.

States Ron: “First off, you can’t be a self-publisher without being the publisher.”

I’m very glad he makes this point. A self-publisher is a publisher. A co-publisher, on the other hand, evaluates each manuscript before it decides to offer the client a contract. Although the author pays pre-press costs, the co-publisher bears the cost of many of the other expenses and also invests time, labor, money and energy in marketing and promoting each of its authors.

Writing is a love, publishing is a business

Ron continues: “I start off every seminar I give with the line ‘Writing is a love, publishing is a business.’ If you plan to self-publish, you are going into the publishing business. Like any other business, to be successful, you need to learn about the business.

“I use the example that you wouldn’t open an auto repair business without learning about automobiles. I can take that one step further. You wouldn’t think of opening that same repair shop and paying 50% of the income to the guy who installed the sign on the front door, would you?

“This is exactly what you are doing when you pay a place like Author House or Iuniverse to publish your book. Sure, they installed the sign on the front door, but are they worth half the profit?”

The Business of Self-Publishing

A co-publisher takes care of all publishing details. The book is copyrighted in the author’s name; privilege to publish it is granted to the co-publisher. This means the author does not have to go through the process of opening up their own company and investing time and money in running and maintaining it.

Ron describes this process: “With true self-publishing, the author is opening a business, just like that auto repair shop. If the repair shop needs to hire a mechanic to help him provide his service, they hire a mechanic. The mechanic works for a fee-for service basis. The owner works for profit.

“A publisher hires editors, designers and printers on the same fee-for-service basis. Back to that sign on the door, yes, the auto repair shop needs a sign but there are plenty of sign companies out there who would be more than willing to provide a sign for a fee. But, do you give the sign manufacturer a percentage of the business? Of course you don’t. The same principles apply to every other component of your business.”

Dandelion’s business model

Dandelion Books gives its authors freedom to market and promote their books; simultaneously, Dandelion seeks reviewers, foreign rights and other subsidiary rights contracts. Dandelion also sets up its titles with online distributors and provides free ebook setup as well as Amazon Kindle conversion and setup.

Net profits are divided with the author. That is one of the most important factors to understand. “Net” includes revenues after print on demand, distribution and order processing fees have been deducted. Also, a book sold on Amazon forfeits a certain amount of the revenues to Amazon’s discount policy.

Ron's rant against online self-publishing companies continues:

“If the vanity publishing venture capitalists ever wandered over into the auto repair business, how do you think it would work? How many people would be lining up to open auto repair shops where they pay the bills for all the services, do all the work and then split the profits with the sign maker?

“Now think of that vanity auto repair shop ‘owner’ waking up one morning and realizing that his business venture was headed nowhere and he wanted to take his investment and move on to a situation that made more business sense. How do you think he would feel when he attempted to move, and the sign maker told him he couldn’t because the sign maker not only owned the sign (that you paid for) but they also own all the equipment in the shop (that you also paid for). Did I mention he owned the customer list, too? The only way you could move your auto repair shop to another location where you didn’t have to split the profits, was to start all over again.”

“As absurd as the above example may seem, this is exactly what is happening on a daily basis out there in the publishing world. Hundreds of people are falling for the vanity press trap, every week. They are paying for 100% of the services (at an inflated price, I might add), letting the vanity press/POD Publisher hang the sign on the door and then split all the profits. When the author tries to change the arrangement and move into true self-publishing, he discovers that he doesn’t own the ISBN or the printing files, or anything else, for that matter. His only choice is to start all over. Great deal, Huh?”

Benefits of publishing with Dandelion

Dandelion authors are free at any time to terminate their contract and start their own self-publishing company. They do not have to “start over,” with the exception of purchasing their own ISBN numbers, which is unavoidable when opening up a publishing company. However, all the design files and work that the author paid for belong to the author.

The question I like to pose to authors who are considering co- versus self-publishing is: What is your dream? Is it to be a publisher or a coach, healer, teacher, seminar leader, business owner (of another business that is different from publishing), etc.? If the answer is “to be a publisher,” by all means, DO open up your own publishing company. I’ll be happy to show you how.

If, however, you are not interested in shouldering that responsibility, work with a reputable co-publisher who can produce a quality product for you, treat you to many of the benefits of publishing with a traditional publisher (who, incidentally, is now charging its authors a stiff marketing and advertising fee that is often much higher than the total quote for publishing with a company such as Dandelion… with NO guarantee of success, EVER!), and also give you fair compensation for book sales.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.

Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.

Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.

Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.

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