If you follow the link from Particles that says Don’t touch with a ten-foot pole, you’ll find the suddenly squeaky-clean website of Profitable Publishing, which as of today says:
And a little further down:
Incredible books available from Profitable Publishing at
BOOKS TO BELIEVE IN
Great books by fantastic new authors!!!!
A Division of Thornton Publishing
Check out these books-you don’t need a 10-foot pole to read them! LOL! Please, scroll down past this top text to view all the books. They’re awesome, interesting, enjoyable and informative. Most were written by first time published authors who truly enjoy their relationship with their publishing company! Judge for yourself!…
Just for the record - the bloggers who have recently negatively targeted my website have never done business with me. Their opinions are strictly their own and do not originate from an informed position. This blog thread originated from someone being mad at an entirely different publishing company.
So what’s going on? Well, as of yesterday, or possibly this morning, Profitable Publishing’s main page looked like this.Blinding, ain’t it? And if you’re wondering whether “partner publish with us” means what you think it means, you’re right: this is a vanity/POD operation. Their minimum charge for publishing your book is $549 up front, or three payments of $200. That’s not quite the way their main page put it, though, in the previous instantiation of the site:
But not grammatically.
Partner publish with us to get your books in print fast, easy, economically and profitably!
Assuming that where you want to go is a vanity POD with a startlingly high initial fee.
Created by an author for authors, Profitable Publishing can take you and your book where you want to go!
That means the book’s ISBN is listed at Amazon and B&N, and that they’ll order a copy if someone comes by and asks for it. Whoopee.
Want to see your book in Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com?
Profitable Publishing is an:
Official Barnes & Noble Vendor since 1999
& an Amazon.com Advantage Member since 1998
Well. Er. Hey, anyone here want coffee? I’ll put on a fresh pot.
Listed by Writer’s Digest November 2002 - October 2004 in their Exclusive Resource Directory as one of the top Subsidy Presses in America! Listed as one of the nations top Subsidy Press Companies by Writers Digest 3 years in a row!
When you “partner-publish” with Profitable Publishing, most authors see a complete return on their investment with the sale of their first 100 books!!!If they incurred no other costs whatsoever (which is impossible), and priced their books at least $5.50 above the per-unit cost, the authors might at this point start to break even.
Easily making 10 times what would be made by commercially publishing or self-publishing the old conventional offset way, the Staff at Profitable Publishing will guide you through the publishing process from start to finish - until you have a successful and profitable book project!“Ten times what would be made by commercial publishing” is so vague that there’s no use refuting it on specifics. However, a successful POD title does not make ten times what a successful conventionally published book would make. POD doesn’t get economies of scale. It’s meant for books that sell in trickles, though it’s greatly favored by publishers whose books don’t sell at all.
Our success depends on your success! We set up the process so that it is a win/win proposition!Given a vanity/POD publishing model, minimal pre-press input, no distribution costs, and a $550-$600 minimum fee, PP’s success can get along just fine without your success.
When you follow the profitability plan created just for your project, you’ll see success right from the start! We work together to turn your book project into a self-supporting, profitable endeavor - usually, with the first 100 books sold!I doubt it. I most sincerely doubt it.
Have I ever mentioned that when scamhunters are checking out a publisher’s website, the first big test is whether the site is primarily pitched to the bookbuying public, or to authors who want to get published? It’s true; and very effective it is, too. Scammers and vanity operations don’t make their money selling copies of their books, so that’s not where they focus their effort. They make their money off wanna-be writers, so that’s who they pitch to. A reader-oriented main page is no guarantee that a publisher is legit, but a writer-oriented one is a very bad sign.
Profitable Publishing is all the wretched hopeless things I’ve come to expect from vanity PODs: no real distribution, no sales force, no editing as such, dreadful covers, and a publishing model that couldn’t make a success of Harry Potter and the Bridges of Pokemon County by Susanna Clarke.*
She, like so many of her kind, has also written a book about how to achieve success in publishing. Honestly, they all write them. It amazes me. I wouldn’t write a book that claimed to do that—I know I don’t know how to guarantee publishing success, though I do know ways to improve your chances—but there are all these people out there who’ve never been conventionally published, aren’t sure what Ingram does, and wouldn’t know corrugation from Ian Ballantine’s left shoe,* but nevertheless think they know all about it.
They never mention the real secret of how they’re making money via self-publishing, which is to rook other writers into paying them money to hopelessly publish the authors’ largely hopeless books. Maybe they’re honestly starry-eyed when they first set out to publish their own work, but by the time they’re bunco-steering other writers in wholesale quantities … nah. They’ve become something else by then.Here’s from PP’s page about things you won’t have to do any more, assuming you go with them:
Now you NO LONGER have to:Hopeless.
- Spend thousands of dollars to buy thousands of books for a print run, just to make the project cost eventually cost effective. Using the latest print on demand technology and consulting with Thornton Publishing�s marketing department, together we�ll turn the book project into a self-supporting, profitable endeavor.
- Live with mistakes. If you�ve gone to the expense of printing up your books - and then found an edit error - you�re stuck. Using the digital printing on demand, mistakes can be corrected with each new run. You�re never out of luck or out of date with this technology!
They offer seminars, too.Back to the story. This all got started over at Absolute Write’s Bewares Board, in their extremely long-running discussion of PublishAmerica. Jim Macdonald—a member in good standing of SFWA’s scamhunting crew, and a man who’s looked at a lot of bad-news publishing setups, posted this:
Re: Linking it all back to PublishAmerica…Another poster there, Underthecity, observed that PP’s now-former site had a curious resemblance to a site called The Cavalcade of Schlock—you know, just sayin’. In the meantime, Jim passed the Profitable Publishing link on to me, and I put it up on Particles. All normal.
I’ve been looking at the PublishAmerica thread, How Did You Discover PA?
A depressing number of folks just Googled on “Book Publisher,” came up with PA as the top hit, didn’t bother to do any other research, submitted there first, and the rest is history.
But others … I’ve looked at some of their prior publishing credits, and I found….
All I can say is “Oh.”
Oh. My. Ghod.
Compared to those guys, PA probably does seem like a good deal. Compared to those guys, PA probably is.
I still wish that those authors had started their publisher search at the top rather than at the bottom of the heap. Just because you published with a bottom-feeder doesn’t mean that you’ve written a bottom-feeding book.I weep for the humanity.
Around a quarter past eleven, Jim noted that Profitable Publishing had redone their main page, so he posted a link to the Google-cached version of the previous version. The board briefly took note of this, then went back to discussing the shortcomings of PublishAmerica. Then, around mid-afternoon, E.J. Thornton Herself showed up on the board to denounce the denunciations and explain that for her, this episode was an opportunity, not an embarrassment; but she was ticked off anyway.
I know there’s grand opera. Is there tiny opera? This is tiny opera. The drama would have played better if E.J. Thornton weren’t under the impression that posts to a public bulletin board are called “blogs.” Reconfiguring the front page would have worked better if EJT hadn’t opened her mouth on the Bewares Board and said, “My business is to sell publishing contracts to authors.”
Right. If she knew what she was doing, she’d have a different job.
Update, 12/14/04: E.J. Thornton has reconfigured her page yet again! There’s still a malediction against bloggers in tiny type at the top of the page, but the book catalogue has been moved elsewhere, and the page is now devoted to quoting nice things people have said about her in correspondence.
Further update, 12/15/04: The malediction against bloggers has now been removed. I’m going to stop reporting her changes. This is getting circular, and with the holidays coming up, she’s got to have other things she needs to be doing.