You Win When You Create Value

Penguin launches “self-publishing” services. But wait, it’s total crap. From Linda Welch’s blog.

They offer three self-publishing packages: $99 for user-formatted books. (User formatted means the author does their own formatting.) $299 for a user-formatted print book and e-book. Hm. The author still does their own formatting. And $549 for a professionally formatted print and e-book. Yipee! You get formatting for $549. Not only that, you can choose from six cover styles (you heard me – six – wow) which correspond to your genre. You can also choose distribution. Wide range distribution puts you on Book Country, Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google, Kobo and “others.” Basic is on Book Country only. There is no mention of the most vital facet of putting out a good product – editing.

Now hold on one cotton picking minute. I already sell on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords and Diesel. And it didn’t cost me a penny. If you go through Penguin, you pay them a percentage of sales. This means if your e-book sells on Amazon, both Amazon AND Penguin take a percentage. Same for everywhere else.

Like I said, crapola. Here’s a lesson for anyone like Penguin, or anyone else, when creating services.

You MUST create value. Otherwise, you lose. And you must think about the customer first, not yourself. Penguin obviously just wants to get over on new authors. That, my friends, is a sure-fire way to building a crappy long-term business.

Too often I see business not get this. They put profit first, when instead they should be putting profit for the customer first. VALUE! Eventually, what is going to happen is you’re going to be left with a bunch of unhappy customers who felt ripped off. And in today’s social world that is more dangerous than you think.

Sigh.

More reaction at Konrath, Katie Salidas and Passive Guy.