For all you authors that ditch PA, I got one thing to say “Do your homework,” In my 18 years of studying the craft of writing and the business side of it. I have learned that 8% up to 12% in royalties is the correct margin in book sales – unless you have an agent who shoots for more only to line their own pockets. Compared to another book publishing contract – PA’s book contract is right on the money- maybe you should of looked into it before you signed it. Any professional writer knowns to review and compare and research any contract before signing it, even a magazine publisher covers their own butts by drafting in their contracts a kill fee - $10.00- $50.00 to the author if they decide to terminate your contract for no particular reason. This is the low blows of writing. In any contract from any publishing company you have your good and bad, but most of all your responsibilities are outlined and agreed upon. Those who scream breech do so because they do not want the responsibilities they’ve been handed, but yet they want their name in print.
Also $19.95 is not unreasonable for a book, I have come across books that cost more. And if you prefer to get technical, add up all the money you spend on how to write books, dictionaries, and reading books. Books on the craft of writing cost a lot more than $19.95 and you buy them just the same. Any devoted reader will pay the cost of a book no matter the price. So maybe you should be scanning your local bookstore more often before using that as an augment. If you took the time out to search Barns & Nobles, Amazon and Chapters you’ll find a wide selection of books published by PA and they are not going for $19.95, nor were they bought at that price – all bookstores buy their books in quantities at a discount.
Did you really expect to make a million being a first time author and with such little effort? Cheap paper, and shabby book covers is just pettiness – you’re grasping at straws here. And as far as editing goes, it’s not the publishers responsibility to polish your work, it’s yours. No matter what publishing company you deal with, you will find the same thing. The publisher points out your mistakes and you fix them, and since no one is a complete expert in English a few typo’s is bound to surface. As long as the entire manuscript is not full of errors a reader will ignore the few that are there and continue to read. You’d think as a writer you’d know this already considering that reading is part of the job?
The same with promotional sales – any writer that has done their homework knows that writing is not a 9-5 job it is a professional career – you are your own captain of your ship – so steer it. The publisher is only a ship mate, they assist you in where you want to take your ship and help you to keep it in shape. Any writer that wants to be known has to put the effort into making themselves known, if you’re a writer that expects the publishers to do it all for you than you are lazy and uneducated in the field of writing. Maybe writing isn’t for you, maybe it’s not your calling?