This is the story of my publishing journey. It began with Balboa Press in 2014. This firm is promoted as a division of Hay House, which publish many spiritual books. It was this connection that led to my decision to start my publishing career with them.
The experience taught me a lot and was necessary for my level of knowledge at the time. I was a total novice with zero knowledge of the publishing world.
All knowledge costs money and I call this experience my Diploma Course in Publishing. It is quite amazing how one pathway leads to a crossroad where one has take a huge leap of faith, going where one has never been before.
It was a crash course into this new pathway.
After many months of deliberation, during which I was given much encouragement, I signed up for a ‘self-published’ package. The package included templates for the process of developing the book; six full page colour images and the front and back covers. I presumed it included a lot of advice and support in technical issues.
During this process the proofs would keep coming back with five blank pages in the back of the book. I kept asking,”Why are the five blank pages in the back of the book?” The answer was always,”That is what the package provides.” There was never any discussion that the story and text needed to fill the 24 pages. I trusted the company to format the book to fill the pages.
After the book was printed, I found it still had the five blank pages. Some pages, the text was squashed, and on other pages there was little text. Formatting had never been discussed, although I was required to edit the book of all text mistakes. I was extremely disappointed and upset with the result.
I knew nothing about publishing – but I did know this was unacceptable to me.
I had the book withdrawn from the market, at another cost. I spoke with representatives at Balboa Press, having to press on until I was able to speak with a supervisor responsible for the formatting of the book. The supervisor admitted the fault was with them, generously requiring me to pay only 2/3 of the fee to rectify their mistake! I ended up formatting the book myself, before it was re-released.
The book was made available for US $23.99, the price set by Balboa Press. It was listed with all the online bookstores and through Balboa Press.
After the book was published, I became aware there was no promotion of the book from Balboa Press. Options were to pay a lot of money to promote through Hay House or to buy books and sell them myself through book signings. This put me on the path of purchasing books which cost US$12 each- luckily the AU$ was up with the US at that time.
During this time, I became aware of the huge discount offered to online bookstores and decided to follow this trail to see if I could purchase books for this reduced price. I was led to Ingram Spark where the book is printed for Balboa Press, as a Print On Demand book. Ingram Spark along with Create Space, print all the Print on Demand books for all the publishers.
I found the books were printed for less than US$4.00 each by Ingram Spark.
Balboa Press pay a royalty of about $1.00 per book and even though I know friends have bought books through Amazon, I have never received a royalty payment. I wondered where was all that extra money was going.
It was then I found Balboa Press was the publisher, not myself. Balboa Press not only got money from me for the ‘self-published’ package I bought; they were also making money out of every book I bought, and for which I received no royalties!