Friday, December 25, 2009

Self-publishing and the BBB

I have self-published a number of books and will have a new one published hopefully by March. All but one of have been published through CreateSpace.  The odd book out was published by Dog Ear Publishing. I had a positive experience using Dog Ear.  It was my first book and I learned a great deal about the entire process of self-publishing. Since then, all of my books have been published using CreateSpace.

Lately I have been reading some horror stories about companies like Dog Ear and after reading enough of these horror tales started to worry a bit that perhaps I had made a poor choice of companies with whom to get my first book in print.

Despite all of the time and energy I had put into researching companies it had never occurred to me to simply log on to the Better Business Bureau website and look up the rating of Dog Ear.  I promptly did so and to my relief found that the company has an A- rating.  An A+ rating would have been better but the rating was much higher than a couple of companies I had considered using, making me feel that I had made the wisest choice possible at the time. I took a quick look at the number of complaints that had been filed with the BBB concerning Dog Ear and noted that all of the complaints had been resolved by Dog Ear.

The point of this post is not to criticize Dog Ear or sing the praises of Dog Ear but instead let the readers of this blog know just how easy it is to check a self-publishing company out. Relying on a company's self-promotional literature is not an option to validate service and integrity and relying on complaints posted by authors on the internet is not reliable either.  A bad book is a bad book and there is nothing one of these author services can do about that. Nor can these companies sell books that the author won't promote. An author who had visions of grandeur and then did nothing to promote and sell the book and then took out his or her frustration on the publishing company would not be doing anything new in terms of human behavior.

So it made sense to simply check out Dog Ear with the BBB.  I wish I had done so before using the company's services. My primary source of information that led me to select Dog Ear  came from Mark Levine's The Fine Print of Self-publishing. Based on what I learned in that book combined with information that I found on the BBB website, I am glad I made the choice of using Dog Ear and neither of the two companies that I had first considered. Learn from my experience and use both Levine's book and the BBB as part of your research when selecting a author services or self-publishing company.