An Author Visit

Yes, up early again. It's HOT. And the heater blows all the hot air into the bedrooms, which have no thermostat, so it's like 75 in there. Bleh.

I found out what some of the weirdness was Friday night. The man across the street died. At least there's an explanation for someone being out on the street at 2 AM - there was a lot of family there, and if they were upset....I don't know if it was his dog crying though.

We went to Ruth's Chris last night, finally. I was less than impressed, though the guys liked it. I still have some chocolate mousse left. Guess how much it cost 3 people, for 3 courses? No alcohol.

I saw the more recent Carrie on TV yesterday. Ava from Supernatural was in it, as was Claire from Lost. It was extremely disturbing. I don't remember seeing the original or reading the book. How did it end?

And I've lost my longsleeved Supernatural shirt. I wore it Tuesday, washed it and hung it in the laundry room next to the skirt I also wore. It is not there. I have no idea where it could be. I'm not happy.

We had an author visit last week at school. I admit to going in kind of prejudiced because the librarian told me the books were horrible, but this woman is a friend with the head librarian, so she does school visits and sells her books for $20 each. (Did I mention we're in a poor district? Heck, even in my son's district, I wouldn't pay $20 for a 40 page book.) So the woman told us a little about why she wrote these books and that four years ago she decided to write down the stories she used to tell her daughters and give them as books to her children.

See where I'm going?

Then she said it took her three months to write a 40 page book (though I can't really say anything about that - I'm on the same track.)

After that she told her story, kind of acting it out. Now, I admit storytelling is a pretty cool skill, but the story was kind of...endless.


So none of my students bought her book, but some of the teacher across the hall's kids did. You want to bet I snatched that book out of one boy's hand to see the publisher.

You guessed it. Vanity press. And I looked up the press online. Wow. Now THERE'S a business. The LEAST she paid was $1000, and for each illustrated page, she had to pay extra. Copy editing is about $800 more, marketing is more, image enhancement is more, copyrighting is more, getting it a Library of Congress number is more.

Just astounding how quickly it can all add up. But here's the kicker - she still just gets royalties! After paying all that! She'll never make any money from these books (and she has 3!)

To be fair, EVERYTHING is spelled out on the website. You have to know what you're getting into, but why would you want to?

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Kelly Boyce said...

I've never quite seen the point in vanity publishing. The idea of paying someone else to publish my book, instead of getting money for it? After all that work?? And where's the validation in publishing it yourself?

Anonymous said...

Ditto. I may only get royalties in payment, but I haven't put a dime into getting my novel published. That's for the publisher. What I contribute is time, effort, work, creativity, and the finished product to be marketed under contract. To PAY to be published seems counterproductive...


Anonymous said...

I think most people think that's how publishing works. Which is sad/scary.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I hope not, Tori. That's really sad to think people might be that gullible or ignorant.

I guess the people who do it are too afraid to go the normal route, or too uneducated to know it's not the "proper" way, or don't care--they just want to have a book in hand.

Toni Anderson said...

People keep asking me why I don't write a kids' book. It isn't as easy as it sounds (I know you know that Mary). I wonder if she got put off by a lot of rejection or just wanted to get it published so badly she paid up the cash. Weird huh?

Anonymous said...

I don't get it either, but I see a lot of vanity press books out there.
Hope the beginning of your busy two weeks is off to a better start. Ugh on the shirt.

MJFredrick said...

Kelly, exactly my philosophy. Though I was tempted once, after a lot of rejections, when my gma offered to pay for it. But I told her what you said, I wanted someone ELSE to think I was good enough to be published!

Joanna, exactly - it's the publisher's job. Though after looking at the rundown of prices, dang, it's no wonder we only get what, 25 cents on the cover price?

Tori, you could be right. Or maybe she just wanted it for her girls, (what an expensive gift) then thought selling them would offset the cost. Still, she'd have to sell a LOT of them!

Natalie, I could see this woman being that gullible, though!

Toni, I thought about her being dejected by rejection, but she got the idea 4 years ago, and now has three books. I'm thinking she wasn't very patient.

Mary Beth, I found the shirt. Hanging in the laundry room. Y'all, seriously, I looked out there at least 3 times, the dh and ds each looked out there for me. It wasn't there. Weird.

And our meeting was less than an hour, and she had chocolate and sodas! I love my VP!


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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