Redemption Press Blog

Deception and Flash: Not All Self-Publishing Packages and Quotes Are Created Equal

Discover the truth behind those “flashy” and “good looking” quotes that claim a “discount” or “super deal” — it’s best to be wary when researching Christian self-publishing packages.

This is the first in a mini-series for Christian authors on doing due diligence before choosing your best publishing option.

Let’s look at an example of how one author was mislead by Xulon Press and eventually discovered the true value behind our offerings here at Redemption Press.

I had a lengthy conversation with a potential author back before Christmas. She had written a 75,000 word novel and we discussed the different publishing model Redemption Press offered. She decided to wait until the New Year to get things going and we agreed to talk again in the spring.

We had a hard time connecting with our crazy busy holiday schedules and her imminent move back to Japan so we didn’t actually connect until summer, when her email arrived saying:

“I have tried to call in, but have missed you. Today was a full day, and I am sorry not to have had a chance to talk with you directly.

I would have asked you about rates. I got a far better rate from Xulon and after a lot of prayer and consideration, I have opted to go with them. I have finished my end of the edits (to the best of my ability). I am working on my social media platform/branding (hate that word) and plan to be up and running by the time the book is available.

I liked what you offered and sincerely appreciated your ideas and suggestions. I am sorry we couldn’t freshen the conversation, but I was probably going to have to go another direction anyway. I’m sure you would have provided great service and guidance, but your prices were more than I was willing to shell out for my first effort.”

While I was disappointed, I’m not the kind of person who tries to hard sell anybody. That is just not my style (nor any of our other Redemption Press staff members). I responded with a simple:

I must admit, I’m disappointed.

I’m quite sure there were many things provided in the quote I gave you that are not included in Xulon’s, and their author price for books is wayyyyyy too high… so you likely weren’t actually comparing apples to apples.

I would have been happy to relook at the services I recommended and revise them to fit your budget…just needed that additional conversation to determine what would make the most sense.

But, if you’ve already paid them money, it’s probably too late to even voice my thoughts.

Best wishes in your journey to publication, my friend!

As it turned out, she’d given them a refundable deposit, so she decided to call and have me explain the difference in what they include in their packages compared to our offering.

She was interested in their Elite Package, normal retail value of $8780, slashed by 50% down to $4,299, and further reduced by a whopping $1,000 if she paid a deposit by a certain date. (Big sigh. I hate marketing hype!)

As we went through the list of what was included in the package, the biggest areas of discussion were:

  • All the trade show placement included in the package creates an unreal expectation for the author. These types of events do not produce significant sales. (See my blog posts on The Bookstore Myth — Part One and Part Two.)
  • There was only a manuscript diagnostic review included in the price. Absolutely NO editing or proofreading, which if added would have increased the price dramatically.
  • Their model for offering the author the opportunity to purchase copies of their books at a discount on the retail price set by Xulon (not the author) was designed to be a cash cow for the publisher.

When all was said and done, if we offered the same services that actually had value to the author, without the proofread (apples to apples) our bundle of services was LESS than their discounted super, duper, special deal. AND her price for author copies with Redemption Press was less than HALF of what Xulon would have charged her.

So, she took her time, she did her due diligence, she prayed some more, and she called me back the next week saying:

“I’ve done my due diligence and I’ve made my decision. Redemption Press is going to be my publisher!”

Join us next time for the rest of this story.

Not only did this author do her due diligence comparing Redemption Press to Xulon Press, but also Westbow. She spent hours combing websites and comparing what she was told over the phone to what it actually said on each website.

I believe you’ll want to glean from her findings!

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Meet the Publisher

I've been around Christian publishing since 1987 when I helped our ministry self-publish an important resource for Vietnam veterans and their families. That book went on to be picked up by a royalty publisher and has since sold over 250,000 copies with a million in print.

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