A Tale of Six Publishers – Part 3.2

You’re an author, not a mushroom. Don’t go with a publisher who keeps you in the dark, feeds you bullshit, and outright lies to you! (part 2)

Part 1 of this series shared three critical issues to ask any publisher before signing with them:

  1. Marketing – how would the publisher get word of my book out to potential readers?
  2. Distribution – how would the publisher get my book into potential readers’ hands?
  3. Career Development – what would the publisher do to help me become a better author?

This post continues with publisher #3 (whom you met in

Here I share the second part of publisher #3’s bad practices.

4. Refusal to back up their claims with real numbers – I don’t mind negative ROI, I mind being bullshitted about it.
This goes back to much of Part 3.1’s

Take-Away: People who can’t defend a decision with numbers and a clear, easily understood explanation, are using ego and emotion to make a decision, not data and logic.

Publisher #3 made repeated claims about the marketing tools and services they offered.

Okay, Great! I have a business background. Lesson One in business: Numbers Rule! You can go with your gut if your gut has an amazing track record, and you should listen to your gut because it’s right between your heart and your balls, but unless you have the resources – financial and otherwise – to cover any errors in intestinal interpretation, remember Lesson One: Numbers Rule!

Three sales in a year and being #4,000,000-something in Amazon’s top seller listing isn’t a convincing argument for a marketing scheme.

I finally tracked down some numbers for Publisher #3’s claims. They sucked. My book was doing better – lots better! – not using the suggested marketing scheme than the publisher’s own books (supposedly) using their marketing scheme.

So I asked, “Do you use this marketing methodology on your own books?”

To which they replied, ” ” (aka silence).

And, of course, their push to purchase and the diversity of their marketing offerings continued.

No results were offered.

When fact-checked, none of their offers were effective.

For Anybody! (unless you consider selling four books instead of your usual two books/month is worth ~US$700, of course)

5. I asked if they had any reason I shouldn’t go with a marketing site they didn’t promote. They said they were fine with it.
The marketing site failed and, having done my research about it before hand, I knew the risk going in. The majority of my work is speculative fiction and they handled very little speculative fiction.

Now note this: They told me up front going with them was a gamble because they lacked experience. I thanked them and said it would be a learning experience for both of us.

A month or so later I was in a group discussion with the publisher and several of their authors. We talked about marketing successes and failures, and I mentioned my experience.

And the publisher, who gave me go-ahead re this marketing site, put into the discussion “Yeah, we’ve never had any luck with that group.”


So when I asked you originally and you said to go ahead, you were fine with me using it, you either intentionally a) mislead me and/or b) set me up for failure?

I sat looking at my screen. I had to read their message four or five times to make sure I read it correctly.

Take-Away: Get away from any publisher who intentionally misleads any of their authors.

Wow. A publisher who intentionally misleads their authors.

Sign me up.

I mean, please, Sir, may I have another?

6. I started an email co-marketing list with other publisher #3 authors and was told to stop because all the other authors told the publisher I was bothering them.
I’m strong on collective marketing efforts. One of my long-time beliefs is “a win for any one of us is a win for all of us.”

And originally, I sent out a prelim email detailing what I suggested and asking who wanted to participate, ie, the co-marketing list was opt-in.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from publisher #3 telling me stop because I was a nuisance.

Remember my mentioning having a business background?

“Who wants me to stop?”

All of them.

Okay. Research time. I sent an email to the 100+ people on the list. Two responded they didn’t want to take part any more.

It’s so warming, a genuine warm fuzzy, when you repeatedly discover your publisher is intentionally misleading you and outright lying to you, isn’t it?

Next time, the publisher #3’s bullshit finale.

Previous Entries in this Series

One thought on “A Tale of Six Publishers – Part 3.2”