BookBaby, a leading ebook distributor, has formed a new publishing services company in partnership with F+W Media' Writer's Digest. , named for the Cincinnati suburb which houses Writer's Digest's editorial department, will offer a suite of services to self-published authors.
With prices ranging from $417 to $3,137 the new publishing services company will offer a variety of packages from a basic ebook only deal to a premium print+digital offering. Authors will received $100% of net revenues generated on all sales.
BookBaby and Writer's Digiest would have you beleive that this is a great deal, but I disagree: "Blue Ash Publishing authors are truly getting the best of both worlds in self-publishing," said BookBaby president Steven Spatz. "It’s a perfect marriage between two leading companies in the self-publishing space, and authors will reap the benefits."
That sounds nice, but after I spent a few minutes looking at the costs of the various packages I began to question whether the bundle of services were really a good deal.
For example, Blue Ash Publishing's a $249 package offered by BookBaby. The only real difference is that Blue Ash throws in a weekly newsletter and a basic ebook cover design (a $120 cost if bought direct from BookBaby).offers a suite of features which are virtually identical to
Considering that Writer's Digest offers a weekly writer's newsletter for free, I question whether the ebook cover design by itself can justify the markup on BookBaby's services.
I cannot verify who provides all of the services at the higher price tiers, but if they have a similar markup then I question their value. I think it would be worth an author's time and money to find who is actually providing the services so you can deal direct.
While I think paying for a professional service can be a good idea, I also think that it is often better to split up specific services like cover design. Not everyone needs them, which is why I don't like bundled services like the packages offered by Blue Ash.
image by Milestoned