• LC Cooper

    A huge Star Wars fan, I was hooked by this post’s title. “Rogue” conjures up thoughts of rebels battling the forces of the Evil Establishment, lightsaber-style. Eagerly awaiting Bonnier’s English-language version of its Type & Tell platform, I counted down the days until its launch this week during the London Book Fair. The hype, like Mercy Pilkington’s blog post, above, fueled my flames of writing passion. Finally, a rogue, swashbuckling style of self-publishing–something so provocative, so shiny and new that everyone in even far away galaxies would rejoice at the success of this publishing rebellion being lead by Bonnier and its fantastical Type & Tell rogue platform.

    *Yawn* Type and Tell is yet another “me too” vanity publishing platform. Contrary to the point made in the blog post above, Type & Tell leads its “rogue” platform with listing and pricing of its 3 service plans, followed by the cute little set of check boxes and bullet points of services per plan. Waaaay down the list of headings, you will indeed find extensions of their services broken down into a cafeteria-style format.

    No matter how you slice it, poop is still poop, and vanity publishing is a big wad of it that preys on the naive newbie and gullible authors. I can speak from experience that many, many authors who sign up with a vanity publisher like this Type & Tell offering, will NEVER recoup their investments, meaning we authors have a snowball’s chance in heck of breaking even through book sales. Seriously? Hundreds of dollars for merely the privilege of publishing via Type & Tell, let alone the more expensive two plans that offer the real meat of vanity publishing. I couldn’t be more disappointed.

    It saddens me that such a talented writer and business leader would fall so hard for chicanery of a vanity publisher like this. I feel tricked by the “rogue” hook and its implications. I am sorry, but trust in Goodereader has weakened due to this treatment.

    For those unwilling and/or unable to invest up front, true self-publishing platforms exist, Smashwords.com and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platforms come to mind. What’s really cool out there are crowd-funded publishing ventures.

    Crowd funding by means of pre-orders is a unique twist because it asks the reader to invest in titles on the front end–during the book’s development process, instead of the author and/or publisher bearing the brunt (and all risk) of the investment in hopes of future sales to readers.Crowd funding is a true measure of how good a book might appear to readers. Talk about removing publishing risks–one platform will begin the editing/cover design/publication processes once pre-orders meet a threshold of 200 books.

    In this scenario, the author doesn’t front any money to purchase services, yet, once the threshold is met, the publisher will commit its resources to publishing the project. A caveat exists, I’m sure, in the case where the author expectations bump up against the reality of the level of the publisher’s commitment. For example, a book that captures 200 pre-orders only will not receive the royal treatment of an A-list author–someone whose name, alone, sells tons o’ books.

    Oh well, onward and upward. The future will always present we authors with opportunities and challenges. Keep your eyes open for them because they’re coming at us fast and furiously (daily, I get several articles from Google search results with just the phrase “self-publish.” Just watch out for the landmines of poop dropped by vanity publishers like Bonnier’s Type & Tell.

  • LC Cooper

    A huge Star Wars fan, I was hooked by this post’s title. “Rogue” conjures up thoughts of rebels battling the forces of the Evil Establishment, lightsaber-style. Eagerly awaiting Bonnier’s English-language version of its Type & Tell platform, I counted down the days until its launch this week during the London Book Fair. The hype, like Mercy Pilkington’s blog post, above, fueled my flames of writing passion. Finally, a rogue, swashbuckling style of self-publishing–something so provocative, so shiny and new that everyone in even far away galaxies would rejoice at the success of this publishing rebellion being lead by Bonnier and its fantastical Type & Tell rogue platform.

    *Yawn* Type and Tell is yet another “me too” vanity publishing platform. Contrary to the point made in the blog post above, Type & Tell leads its “rogue” platform with listing and pricing of its 3 service plans, followed by the cute little set of check boxes and bullet points of services per plan. Waaaay down the list of headings, you will indeed find extensions of their services broken down into a cafeteria-style format.

    No matter how you slice it, poop is still poop, and vanity publishing is a big wad of it that preys on the naive newbie and gullible authors. I can speak from experience that many, many authors who sign up with a vanity publisher like this Type & Tell offering, will NEVER recoup their investments, meaning we authors have a snowball’s chance in heck of breaking even through book sales. Seriously? Hundreds of dollars for merely the privilege of publishing via Type & Tell, let alone the more expensive two plans that offer the real meat of vanity publishing. I couldn’t be more disappointed.

    It saddens me that such a talented writer and business leader would fall so hard for chicanery of a vanity publisher like this. I feel tricked by the “rogue” hook and its implications. I am sorry, but trust in Goodereader has weakened due to this treatment.

    For those unwilling and/or unable to invest up front, true self-publishing platforms exist, Smashwords.com and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platforms come to mind. What’s really cool out there are crowd-funded publishing ventures.

    Crowd funding by means of pre-orders is a unique twist because it asks the reader to invest in titles on the front end–during the book’s development process, instead of the author and/or publisher bearing the brunt (and all risk) of the investment in hopes of future sales to readers.Crowd funding is a true measure of how good a book might appear to readers. Talk about removing publishing risks–one platform will begin the editing/cover design/publication processes once pre-orders meet a threshold of 200 books.

    In this scenario, the author doesn’t front any money to purchase services, yet, once the threshold is met, the publisher will commit its resources to publishing the project. A caveat exists, I’m sure, in the case where the author expectations bump up against the reality of the level of the publisher’s commitment. For example, a book that captures 200 pre-orders only will not receive the royal treatment of an A-list author–someone whose name, alone, sells tons o’ books.

    Addionally, and again contrary to the post, while on the Type & Tell site, I read that the submitting author must select one of the 3 Type & Tell service-level plans before s/he could add the cafeteria-style individual offerings–hat those individual services are not offered without also buying one of the 3 main service plans.

    Crowd-funding, though, won’t solve all of vanity-publishing’s woes. For example, our author has collected 200 pre-orders for her/his title. What, exactly, does the author get for those 200 pre-orders-worth of dollars? Merely tripping across the threshold shouldn’t qualify the author to receive the whole enchilada of the publisher’s available resources and services. Then, let’s say our author wants, in addition to what s/he’ll receive for those 200 pre-orders, the publisher to give the book access to international markets. If this service costs another US$800 more, who would pay for such incremental services? I suppose it’ll fall back onto the author to front that extra $800; maybe there would be tiered programs where selling 500 pre-orders might earn the title the basic level of service AND cover-design assistance, but NOT access to international markets–that might be in the 1,000 pre-order tier. So, our 200-pre-order title , with the international distribution would require the author, more crowd-funding investment, or …? It could get messy.

    Also, the crowd-funding site I’m referring to states that the author will receive a 35% royalty, net of all investments and expenses. That amount could be zero or even a negative number if production costs exceed the pre-order payments. Who pays for the imbalance then? Does the author possibly carry a negative balance, that then must be addressed by the author’s next title? I envision a scenario where the unsuspecting author is caught in a “company store” situation that the author can’t pay off with future book sales or future crowd funding, that s/he will eventually have to pay off any outstanding balance owed the publisher. And down the slippery slope we slide into vanity publishing’s domain.

    Oh well, onward and upward. The future will always present authors with opportunities and challenges. Keep your eyes open for them because they’re coming at us fast and furiously (daily, I get several articles from Google search results with just the phrase “self-publish.” Just watch out for the landmines of poop dropped by vanity publishers like Bonnier’s Type & Tell.

  • LC Cooper

    Rogue … really? My posted response to this blog post has been deleted 6 times. I must assume that the author didn’t care for my pointing out the misuse of the word “rogue” to describe Bonnier’s Type & Tyell platform. Stripping away all the baloney, Type & Tell is (sadly) just another “me too” vanity publisher. Crowd-funding and actually real self-publishing sites exist at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.

    I challenge you to read the pages at Bonnier’s Type & Tell site, and decide for yourself, like I did, after reading this inaccurate blog post. The author MUST purchase one of T&T’s 3 production packages. Only then can the author choose from cafeteria-style extension to the 3 overarching plans.

    Royalties stink, too, when compared to Smashwords nad Amazon KDP. I’m sorry, but I was so excited when I learned that Bonnier was launching an English-language version of its Swedish & Finnish Type & Tell platform during last week’s London Book Fair. “Cold fish,” yes–“rogue,” no.

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