28-Mar-2010

Not All Good Things Come In Packages

We have been often asked why we do not offer packages like many other POD publishers do. It has been common practice about POD providers to offer publishing packages that bundle together services for an all-inclusive fee. At CinnamonTeal Print and Publishing, we have consciously chosen to stay away from packages. There are reasons for this:

a. Many of the packages available on offer bundle services that might not be needed by the author. But because no alternative is available, the service has to be bought, and paid for, as part of the package. For example, in package-based offerings, a person may have to pay for cover design even if she could have done it herself

b. Some services ought to be there for free. Like the non-exclusive contract which many publishers offer as part of their basic package but which, we believe, is central to the concept of POD publishing and must be offered without any strings attached. Similarly, in India, ISBN must be issued without any charge.

c. The concept of packages flies in the face of the spirit of POD i.e. helping authors get around budgetary constraints in the process of publishing their book. At CinnamonTeal, we first encourage authors to check and see if their friends or acquaintances can provide services like cover design or editing for free or for a reduced rate.

d. Many times, authors who have bought package-based services are left out of the loop when those services are provided. Consultation is not provided for as part of these services. Hence, during crucial stages like the editing of the book, the author is not allowed to weigh in on the edited draft. Inputs are incorporated but charged as another round of editing.

e. Most of the packages offer marketing services that promise the moon but require the author to be an inherent part of the process. Nothing wrong with that except that the author is led to believe that she can stay out of the process and the marketing package she has paid for will generate sales on its own.

f. Quality isn't assured. This follows from an earlier point made which illustrates the dangers of leaving the author out of the process. If the author is not allowed to provide her inputs to the edited manuscript, for instance, various nuances of the plot may be altered and the narrative may be lost in translation

CinnamonTeal Print and Publishing Services provides editorial, design and POD services to customers around the globe. It provides services a la carte - you pay only what you ask for.

5 comments:

  1. I think its a good policy to have. You are right, in a package deal you often get the impression that you are getting a lot of value for your money, but in reality we hardly ever use all that came with the package. Some of those in the package may infact not even be good for you .. like the 500 calories you could avoid by choosing only the sandwich and water ... but end up eating those fries anyway because you paid for the combo!!
    A la carte is the way to go for an honest deal!!

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  2. Nicely put, Vandana.

    If it's good for them, customers will choose the extra 500 calories. There is hardly a need to force it down their throats...:-)

    Leonard Fernandes
    CinnamonTeal Print and Publishing

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  3. All the Best, Cinnamon Teal.
    One thing though - you must help the authors market their books, especially in bookstores.

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  4. That is true, Vikram.

    We are indeed working on providing a marketing service for our authors. We are also trying to engage our authors in the marketing efforts and making them realize that only an author can best market his/her book.

    Leonard

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  5. Very true Leonard, the package concept kills the spirit of Self-Publication. It does not allow a "enthusiast" to grow. What I experienced as an author associated with you devoid of package is that you become more acquainted with the process. Moreover your timely "hints" during manuscript finalisation, which are of course free of cost encourages for more ventures.
    REGARDS

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