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Dymocks Now Following in Penguin’s Footsteps – Launches Program to Fleece Authors

Some time back, Dymocks, an Australian bookseller,announced that they were going to launch their own self-pub service.  That service is going to be up and running in about another 8 hours, and it’s called D Publishing Network.

And yes, it does fleece authors. In fact, it might actually be a worse deal that the Book Country service I told you about a few weeks back. That program charged both a extortionate conversion fee and a commission. I’m not sure that Dymocks charges a commission on copies sold but their conversion charges are just as ridiculous.

Like Book Country, D Publishing Network offers both print and Epub conversion and distribution services. You can pay for just one service or bundle them for a lower fee. I’m more familiar with digital, so I’ll cover that first.

Print only – $499:  They take your manuscript and typeset it for their digital print  option. They understand that (as with any typesetting process) that it may not be correct the first time and you can keep adapting for up to five times. You also receive a PDF ebook with this package.

ePub only – $399: Conversion of your manuscript to an ePubebook format.

Print and ePub – $699: Combined package deal.

Dymocks wants to charge you $400 AUD to convert and distribute your ebook. It will be sold via, Google eBookstore, and they also plan to add more distribution channels in the near future.

Now, I’ve said before that $300 was a ridiculous charge for ebook conversion (that’s what Book Country charges), and this is even more so. If you shop around, you can get both Kindle and Epub done for under $150. Also, Dymocks is only offering the one format, and they’re not going to distribute it to the Kindle Store. That means they aren’t going to bother with 40% the world ebook market.

Oh, they will put your ebook into the Google eBookstore, but one, you can do that yourself, and two, that only covers a fraction of the world market. It’s only open in a handful of countries ATM.

As for print, that might actually be a worse deal. They’re charging $500 to format a print book and sell it via the Dymocks website. You also have the chance of getting the book into their 96 bookstores. The book will be POD, of course, and not have a traditional print run.

Update: I’m told that the price may not be such a bad deal. Someone whose opinion I respect says he’d charge about that much to do basic formatting of a print book.

I’m not as familiar with paper distribution as digital, but I’m pretty sure I can come up with a better offer. Dymocks is only going to sell via the one website in a few small markets (Australia and New Zealand). You can cover most of  Dymocks' markets by selling your paper book via The Book Depository. They offer free shipping to a lot of countries and I’m told they stock POD titles (Create Space or Lightening Source).

Also, Lightening Source now has a plant up and running in Melbourne. I suspect that Dymocks plans to have your books printed there. Why not cut out the middle man? LSI is more than happy to work with you direct, and they already have a distribution network.

BTW, one thing that sets Dymocks apart is that they focus primarily on Australia. I can understand that an Australian author would want to cover their home market, but you don’t need to use an Australian company to do that. But if you want one, I would check out I don’t have current info on whether they will accept self-published authors, but they are a reputable Australian tech company and ebook distributor. You can read more about them here.

But you don’t need an Australian company to cover your native market. You can do that yourself with the right marketing efforts. What’s more important is that you make your work available to as many people around the world as possible with the least amount of cost and effort.

And that is the best reason not to bother with Dymocks.

D Publishing Network



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the rodent December 7, 2011 um 2:29 pm

Yes, sounds like fleecing! is much cheaper for distribution deals on paper books. Not sure if they’re in Australia, though.

Charging anything for conversion of a book to EPUB/Mobi is a bad deal. It’s not hard to just do it yourself, if you’re savvy enough to even use a computer for writing your book in the first place. Take your MS Word file, save as HTML (web page filtered), import that into Sigil, save as EPUB, and you’re done. Take that EPUB and push it through Calibre to create a Mobi file for Kindle. Fifteen minutes for your basic e-book.

Jon Jermey December 7, 2011 um 2:52 pm

Dymocks is the company that wanted to charge $A900 for their eBook reader when similar devices were selling elsewhere for $400. Perhaps they need the money to buy a clue.

Anna December 7, 2011 um 3:31 pm

couple of comments about this:
1. Yes, it IS expensive, I said that to Dymocks. People do need to check what things cost in comparison to other suppliers.
2. Lightning Source consistently say they will not deal directly with authors, only with publishers. I’ve emailed them twice and received same reply. There may be ways around this, and I’d like to hear of if so! Printing for Dymocks is done by one of Australia’s largest printers – Griffin Press Digital. But there are other printers who can produce an affordable single copy or 10 copies of a book, but typesetting/cover extra.
3. I completely get the point about Australian distribution only. And I agree about dealing directly with Google eBooks. Dymocks say they will have international distribution in 1st 1/4 and I assume that would mean Kobo, Amazon etc although they haven’t yet confirmed.

Nate Hoffelder December 7, 2011 um 3:39 pm

LSI doesn’t deal with authors? That’s interesting. Any idea who does deal with authors? I know someone does; it’s come up on mailing lists before.

Anna December 7, 2011 um 3:48 pm

There MUST be others, but I tend to recommend SOS Print & Media who do POD & Short run for Publishers but also deal with authors. If authors deal with another company (ie a services company) then they can deal w LS or no doubt others.

Anon December 7, 2011 um 4:57 pm

Your knowledge of this business is sketchy. I suggest you do your homework before ignorantly bagging a venture which many writers will embrace.

Nate Hoffelder December 7, 2011 um 4:59 pm

Sketchy? Not at all. I’m weak on print, but then again this is an ebook blog.

That program is not a good deal. There are better options.

Anon December 7, 2011 um 5:24 pm

Okay…Let me ask you this, is brand worth anything in your view? Are you willing to pay a premium for a premium brand?.. Also, Dymocks is not Amazon. Why on earth would Dymocks distribute through a competitor? Amazon receives a cut, just as Dymocks will. This of course does not prevent you, the author, from going to Amazon with the same publication, as you retain full copyrights. But that will be up to you…I’m happy for you clarify this for me if I’m just completely missing something.

Nate Hoffelder December 7, 2011 um 5:58 pm

Why distribute through Amazon? Simple. They’re a huge market. Dymocks shouldn’t have launched without them.

And if I’m paying $400 for Dymocks to do the ebook and still have to do Amazon on my own, then why am I spending $400?

And Dymocks isn’t a good brand.

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