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Penguin Moves Into ‘Self’ Publishing?

Pardon me if this confused me.

According to this blog:

“Costing between $99 and $549, depending on whether the writer wants to format their ebook themselves or plump for a “professional print and ebook” option, Book Country, the self-publishing arm of Penguin,  will give writers 70% of the sale price of a book priced above $2.99, and 30% of a book priced between 99c and $2.95.”

First of all, when someone publishes your book for you, it is NOT self publishing. When you upload your book to Amazon (or B&N etc) you self-publish. The price is, well, pricy.

If you upload the book yourself, it is free. If you get a formatter from smashword.com’s list, someone can do it for as little as $25. And, if you go for the “professional print and e-book option”, you can go the CreateSpace route with $39 for expanded distribution.

My question is, what is the writer getting for those prices? Will they get on Penguin’s catalogs? Nope. This arm of theirs is a subsidy/vanity press (you have the money, you can publish a book).

And, if Book Country is going give writers 70% of the sale price if the book is priced above $2.99, Amazon’s already doing that. Without the extra you’d be shelling out for Penguin.

Not worth the price, imho.

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  1. November 22, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Having looked at too many “not ready for prime time” self-published ebooks, I wonder how much better the Penguin books will be. I haven’t done my homework, but I wonder what the author gets for his/her money. If it’s professional editing, the picture looks different than just formatting and uploading. Also, does Penguin do anything to promote the book? They certainly have the connections if they should decide to share them.
    I see comments about self-publishing being the “publishing” of the future. IMHO, we will always need professional editors and some kind of gatekeeper to keep the dreck to a minimum.

  2. November 22, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Although traditional publishing is my first choice, it is not always possible, and in my opinion, self-publishing, not vanity, is the only sensible alternate route to go. Why, as you say, Rasana, should you pay someone to do what you can do for free yourself or, for a small fee, get someone else to do for you? I’m not flush with disposable cash that I can use what I do have so foolishly. I’m still hoping to get at least some of my work published by a traditional publisher, but am also willing to look at Createspace and Smashwords.

  3. rasanaatreya
    November 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Those poor folks will think going with Penguin will get them into bookstores and catalogs, not realizing that this is Penguin’s vanity/subsidy press arm.

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