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Writer’s Digest Partners with BookBaby to Offer Services to Self-Published Authors

4473818003_a3d399907b_z[1]BookBaby, a leading ebook distributor, has formed a new publishing services company in partnership with F+W Media' Writer’s Digest. Blue Ash Publishing, 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 $417 eBook package offers a suite of features which are virtually identical to 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).

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

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fjtorres August 13, 2014 um 9:04 pm

Not a great deal.
But it is at least a step up from Writer’s Digest previous partner in "servicing" aspiring writers.

Nate Hoffelder August 13, 2014 um 9:38 pm

Indeed. I thought about mentioning it but it just sounded mean.

Angela Booth August 14, 2014 um 1:43 am

I’m a longtime fan of CDBaby, BookBaby’s parent, but the prices are too high.

The "Ultimate" package made me wince. It looks like a lot of junk.

Obviously they’ve worked out that they can afford to spend 50 per cent of their net on marketing. Writer’s Digest must have a great database of names, so they’ll start with that.

David Gaughran August 14, 2014 um 5:39 am

Writers Digest have been spamming the hell out of those names for years. Really dodgy 90s-era internet marketing stuff.

I doubt their "audience" is too receptive to marketing emails at this point. And if you doubt that, here’s an example of one:

Dear Writer’s Digest Subscriber,

Do you know what most writers regret?

When I found out, I was surprised. Especially because it really struck home—yet wasn’t what I would have guessed.

But I’m one of the lucky ones. I found a way to avoid those regrets, and live a satisfying, well-paid life as a writer.

You can, too. Click here* to learn how.

To life without regret,

Mindy McHorse, Barefoot Writer


*Link goes here:

Harlequin Has Closed Author Solutions Front Company DellArte Press ⋆ Ink, Bits, & Pixels February 13, 2015 um 12:21 pm

[…] ended its relationship last June when it closed Abbott Press. A couple months later Writer's Digest opened a new imprint, Blue Ash Publishing, in partnership with the much more palatable and ethical […]

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