Publishing, pretensions and pusillanimous platitudes
One of the writing forums I habituate, Absolute Write, has a discussion about a PoD (Print on Demand) outfit called Heliographica Press. Now the folks over at Heliographica bill themselves as a "publishing company" and talks of several imprints they have etc. Their lowest package appears to be a setup fee of $240 and $5 a month after that. Quite a tidy sum to invest to see your book published. And the thing is, this amount is supposed to get you "marketing" by Heliographica. (And I’ll get to the relevance about "marketing" in a bit …)
Now Laurie and I have considered doing the same thing that Heliographica did – not bilk people out of money but provide a low-cost solution for people who do not know enough about self-publishing to get into PoD :p I wrote about it here in my blog and even received a query from somebody else who was interested. But what they were mostly interested in was the marketing aspect – like most writers, all they wanted to do was write and to leave the marketing to the publisher. Of course, being in Sri Lanka, we certainly would not have been able to provide any sort of marketing service and would not have offered the service in the first place. However, Heliographica does offer marketing but what appears evident from the posts at Absolute Write is that they have not followed through on their promise of marketing, not to mention publishing.
But the whole marketing thing is beside the point. What I find interesting is something in the discussion thread at Absolute Write. One of the people involved with Heliographica appears at Absolute Write and takes the opportunity to say that he’s left Heliographica but wants to sell the artwork he did for the Heliographica books to the respective authors for a negotiable fee. So first they bilk the people out of the money and don’t provide them with good service and then they split up and try to gouge more money out of the people separately? That’s not just dishonest but seems to verge on the criminal. I just can’t understand people like that. Is the money worth it to crush the dreams of so many? I hope for their peace of mind that it is … But then again, so many seem to find no trouble at all in sleeping well on a bed made up of the shattered dreams of others …