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15% of an *average* self-pubbed book's earnings isn't very much. I've been advising a few off-KB friends and my god it's time-consuming, just to hold the hand and offer a soothing word.

It's possible she's just offering a mercy-publish to people whose work she loves, but can't sell. It's possible this isn't a huge money-maker.

As for the full-service package people, they just get paid a flat fee, so I can see it as being no more or no less profitable than a firm that does website design, or an ad agency. I've worked at both, and they're not all glamorous like you see on TV.

Don't get me wrong! I'm still bitter and sore about promises broken by mean ol' agents.  ;)
 

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ellecasey said:
My understanding is that she'd taking work from well-known authors too. She's mentioned Joe Konrath and John Locke in the article but isn't specific about what she does for them, whether it's the digital publishing or something else. But Joe has a testimonial on the 52novels.com site singing their praises, so I guess he's used them before.
I guess it would help if I read the article. :) I don't think this is anything new. There was a Laurie whateverhernameis whom I sent a query letter to in summer 2012. She had the classy business sense to then quasi-rejection-email me with an automated offering to engage her paid services.

ETA: tl;dr. However, I do have an opinion. Going into business is really not for everyone. For the people who want to throw one book out there and see if they're lucky/brilliant, I think it's great there are people willing to help. There are people willing to help you lease a brand new vehicle, or buy the extended warranty. There are people for everything.
 

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ellecasey said:
My thoughts exactly, although I might not agree that 15% is fair. Still seems a bit high for fronting less than $2,000.
Yeah, but you can tell people you have a literary agent. You can mention it at parties.

"My literary agent has suggested I write more shapeshifter lactation porn. She feels the market's about to swing that way."
 

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JRTomlin said:
If they have her as an agent they are WELL past the "average" writer status and she is hardly "mercy-publishing". Of course, if the author can't bother to do hire their own subcontractors, who knows if they'll bother to do anything else for their books, such as marketing and promotion. But suggesting this is something the agency is doing from the kindness of their hearts is ... stretching credibility.
Heehee. I think we should popularize this "mercy-publish" term. It is what one of us might do for a friend, only we wouldn't take a percent for all the agonizing hand-holding.
 

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I'm really glad Rob @ 52 posted here, and that I have more awareness of the company now. I can see myself recommending their services to people I know, when those people try to get me to do that stuff for them for free.

Author services ARE WORTH MONEY for sure. Cover design, editing, advising on categories ... it all has a value.

Of course, on a product that's probably going to earn about $100 average over its lifetime, it's not a great investment for the average one or two-book pubber, but that doesn't mean the talent of a skilled cover designer isn't worth good dollars.

Most of us here manage our businesses and paint everyone with the equality brush. Ho ho ho! Not so fast. Why does the bank charge for bounced checks? Because dumbass people (including myself) bounce checks. A lot of folks can't manage business dealings, and if there are services around that will provide some assistance, they can go ahead and charge whatever they want, as long as they're honest about it.
 
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