If you’re an independent author who’s just starting out, it is really easy to get lost. You might be intimidated by the Big Boys like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and others. So you might think you need to hire a service to guide you through everything. The sad thing is you don’t, but that isn’t stopping companies from trying to take advantage of you.
I chanced across a company called Alpha Academic Press on Craig’s List. Now, I’ll be careful not to say anything defamatory, but according to their own ad on Craig’s List “We make your book available to the general public through Amazon.com”. I’m assuming they charge for this service, otherwise they are the nicest people in the world.
But if you have your own cover already and an edited manuscript in a .doc file, seriously, you don’t need them. The Kindle publishing process is super simple and absolutely free. I’m hoping to do a seminar at a local library just to show people exactly how easy it is (including setting up bank account information so you can get paid). I could see Alpha Academic’s service being useful to technophobes, but then again, technophobes are probably not reading on-line ads and don’t get the whole eBook thing.
An unnamed company on Craig’s List advertised much the same service, except they “…are an eBook publishing company that works with Amazon and Barnes & Nobel to get your book published!” Oh, well, they must be better- they work with two companies. Sorry, Barnes and Noble has just as easy a process to publish as Amazon. In some respects it may be even easier. I’m looking for the trifecta or maybe the fourfecta with a company that will publish on Smashwords and Lulu as well. These companies have no special relationship with these stores. They have a guy who knows the same as I do who takes your Word file, uploads it, takes your .JPG for your cover, uploads that, slaps some text in for a description that you provide and then cashes your check. That probably takes all of five minutes. Seriously.
I think I’m going to take some play-by-play screenshots to post on my blog for anyone who wants to see for themselves how it works. Maybe I’ll put my own ad on Craig’s List. Correction- I’ve already done that.