What a delight to finally meet Mark Levine in person. He was in the Seattle area for a few days and made a point to pop into the Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal to have lunch with my husband and I. Verbally he told me a while ago that Redemption Press is the only one he sees in the Christian self-publishing arena doing it right… and now the newest edition of his book shows it in writing!
In the most recent version of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing 6th Edition, Chapter Four is titled “The Profile of a Great Self-Publishing Company” where he mentions some key areas that Redemption Press excels in. The most compelling, I believe, is on page 57 where he describes an honest sales process. I’m going to quote his comments here so you get the context.
“Most authors dream of being seated at a table in a Barnes & Noble with a line wrapping around the store, adoring fans each gripping multiple copies of the author’s book. Disreputable companies prey on that dream: reputable ones don’t. There are self-publishing companies that strive to sell you the services you need and can afford, and those intent on sucking money out of you by falsely stroking your ego…
“The most predatory sales techniques in the industry are those used by the Author Solutions conglomerate of companies, which includes Author House, Balboa Press, iUniverse, Trafford, Westbow Press, and Xlibris. Their tactics are high pressure and constant until authors break down and purchase their services. In the time that Author Solutions’ new owner, Penguin Random House, has owned the company, the predatory sales practices do not appear to have slowed down. In fact, being able to name-drop Penguin has probably helped the various Author Solutions sales teams make even more sales. “The purpose of this section is not to harp only on Author Solutions. There are other companies that employ similar sales techniques. I point out Author Solutions because they now own and/or operate so many companies on behalf of traditional publishers and seem to be a place where a number of unsuspecting new authors find themselves.
“Unfortunately, some religious self-publishing companies employ high-pressure sales techniques under the guise of shared faith, reminding the author that coming together for a business purpose is preordained by God. No matter your religious beliefs, God does not want you to pay excessive printing markups that will then make your book unsellable. “If the sales process is an honest one you should notice the following:
• The company’s contract is available for download without you having to provide contact information first
• You are able to ask the company questions via email prior to purchasing a publishing service or package
• The prices for goods and services are easily found and clearly described
• The printing costs and royalties are explained in detail on the company website”
In Chapter Eight entitled “An Apples-To-Apples Comparison of Major Self-Publishing Companies,” Mark Levine discusses printing markups, the price per book for author copies, royalties, ownership of the original production files, and ease of gathering information as a prospective client. In all the comparison charts, Redemption Press leads the way providing the best author price, lowest markup, highest payouts, and the ability to retain the cover and text files. Levine continues to illustrate under the section about ease of gathering information as a prospective client the predatory sales tactics of our biggest competitor, Westbow Press;
As has been the case for a number of years, the Author Solutions companies (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, WestBow, Abbott Press, and Trafford) are among the most aggressive, calling and emailing almost without restraint. For example, I mailed Xlibris on September 16, 2015 to ask a question about printing costs; within three days, I already had nine emails from the company, all of which asked me to call them. I declined.
I do think that when you get serious about choosing a self-publishing service provider, you need to talk on the phone. But, as a consumer, I’m more interested in doing business with companies that respect my time and don’t call and email me ncessantly. If a company wants my business that badly, that always makes me question the product. Yet from a revenue perspective, hounding people works. A lot of these companies do it well and get people to part with money they don’t even have (Page 209-210)
From Pages 197, 198 and 199 here is how Redemption Press stacks up against our competitors:
While this copy I’m quoting from is the Advance Reader Copy, the new edition hits the streets in just a few weeks, on June 7.