So today I talked to Adam from AuthorHouse. They’re another self-publishing firm (why do I keep calling them ‘firms’? They’re just a regular company, right? It just sounds better to me for some reason…) that offers print-on-demand services. I’m not looking for print-on-demand because, from all the research I’ve done, it’s not high quality enough for illustrations. But my research is wrong, according to Adam.
He wanted me to understand that their parent company is Random House, so any lapse in quality would be very bad for both them and their parent company, so I had better believe him that print-on-demand is high quality enough! Adam seemed very much like he’d never heard of offset printing before today…
Needless to say, he did not instill much confidence in me. He seemed impatient on the phone (especially for a phone salesman…) and he informed me that they don’t allow authors to do their own formatting, as it might mean some extra work for them. He had never heard of MillCity Press, the other self-publishing firm (there’s that word again!) I’ve been in contact with, which doesn’t bode well for a convincing pitch. Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed with what I’ve heard so far from AuthorHouse.
There ARE a couple positives. Their package fees are a fair bit less expensive than MillCity and their prices to add images to the manuscript are far less. (Theirs are $5 per image beyond the 10 free they include, whereas MillCity I believe was $50 beyond the 10). They include phone conversation with a marketing professional as part of their packages, though marketing services themselves are separate.
Price is super important as far as I’m concerned, as the smaller the price is the more likely I am to reach my crowdfunding goals. Marketing is super important too, as I don’t want to end up paying for a product no one will ever know exists.
Still, I feel like the negatives outweigh the positives with AuthorHouse. The worst part was comparing the way Michelle from MillCity spoke with me compared to how Adam from AuthorHouse did. He didn’t believe in me or my project. He wasn’t interested in learning more about my manuscript or why I wrote it or what audience I was trying to reach. He was a nice enough guy, but he didn’t seem to care. I’ve worked in sales for a few years now. I know what it sounds like when a salesman doesn’t believe in what they’re selling. Maybe Adam is just terrible on the phone? Sometimes salesmanship makes a difference. So far, it’s moving me to give up on AuthorHouse.
Anyways, I hope this stuff is interesting to somebody out there. I know the self-publishing landscape can be overwhelming and complicated and hopefully, by sharing what we experience, we can help each other be successful authors!