Since I began in the writing world last year, I have learned a great deal, but not enough. When I published my book, “The Tower,” I was as naive as I could be. I went with Xlibris Publishing because they promised me the world (so to speak), if I let them publish my book. Getting the world did not happen.
Since I am now working on my second book “The Dobyns Chroncles,” I have been looking around for another publisher to use. I have contacted at least two and get the same answers to the questions I ask. I always ask what kind of access do I have to find out the amount of books I have sold. The answer, quarterly, that is when the reports come in from the outside sources, such as Amazon.com. I also ask what type of help I get as an author who does not know everything I should about writing and publishing a book. The answer: All the help you need. We are here to assist you in any way we can.
My problem with those answers are this: If I am spending my hard-earned money on marketing my book, how do I know the marketing is working, if I can only get information quarterly. With Exlibris, I did not have access to the Amazon account because it’s in Xlibris name. I asked Xliblis about access and the answer was, “I can understand your concern,” and wasn’t given any information about the account. I can’t accuse anyone of doing anything dishonest because i just don’t know if I sold 10,000 books or ten. Does every Independent Publisher do the same thing?
As far as the question about helping, I feel like I was taken down a rosy path with Exlibris. I was supposed to receive help with the cover. That didn’t happen, I was asked to produce a picture for the cover. That was my responsiblity. I wanted someone to help me determine what type of cover I should have that would compliment the book, as well as create interest. I also wanted a publisher who would tell me what I needed to do to improve my writing. That didn’t happen either. I found out line editing (a term I didn’t understand) was not enough.
I wrote a good mystery, but in hind sight it was not technically perfect. I can write a good story, but getting all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed is not my strong point. Is there an Indie publisher who really helps their clients, or are they all after the money? That’s my two-cents for today.