I am M. LaVora Perry. I am new to this forum. I published my first book with Dorrance. I am publishing my second book print on demand (POD) with Lightning Source (LS) and Lulu. LS for deals with booksellers, Lulu for online sales. My total initial costs for these services range from $0.00 (Lulu) to under $150.00 (LS)
If it weren't for their really high fees, I'd have to say my experience with Dorrance has been a positive one. However, subsidy publishing the way they do it is not recommended for anyone who cannot afford it. Period. And with LS and Lulu available today no one has to use these kinds of companies (companies that print large quantities of books upfront).
Last week when I walked into to a local Borders and an independent bookstore just to see if the bar code would scan, both managers told me to come back by with the book when its published. I did not expect to sell booksellers the Lulu book--the end-cost is too high for anything other than online sales. But even so, both shopkeepers said they'd take a greatly reduced discount and try carrying the book. I owe this to things 1.) the reputation I have with booksellers because of the quality of my first book and 2.) my 2nd book looks really good.
Although I am now using POD, Dorrance has reprinted my book 4 times already. With each reprint they send me 50 books free of shipping or any other costs. That's 200 books I have so far sold at full retail price while not paying any costs for them. I intend to continue this trend of reprinting and getting 50 free books indefinitely--as per the contract change that Dorrance agreed to per my request. Plus, I have received my quarterly royalty checks (40% of sales) on time ever since I completed the payment of my (high) fee. And I don't have to deal with fulfilling orders unless I choose to sell my book myself, which I can do at an 80% discount off retail (another detail I renegotiated). So when I do sell books myself, I earn a 80% royalty.
Hands down, the best thing about Dorrance is that once your fee is paid you don't have to pay for reprints. This feature is only valuable if you sell books. Per my request Dorrance has also agreed to send review copies of my book to anyone who contacts them directly for one. They do not charge me to send out these books. And review copies have led to sales.
If you are not willing to invest in having your book in salable condition (properly edited, proofed, etc.) and then promoting it vigorously once its published, then you should simply write for yourself. Because even if you land a major contract, a book that is not promoted by the author is most likely a book that does not sell to its full potential. There are exceptions, but they are rare. I know this from my own experience and from talking to many authors--both traditionally and self-published.
My book has not only been sold in several bookstores, but on Amazon.com, BN.com; it is in libraries and being used in schools in Zambia and by children's groups in Malaysia.
I won't go into further details here. I have written articles on these subjects. They are viewable at the links below. But I just wanted to say that book sales and credibility are phenomenon that an author can control. In most cases it just takes lots of hard work to have it your way.
The link to my POD article is here:
And here is my article on Dorrance:
http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/debunk ... -myths.htm
M. LaVora Perry, Author, Publisher, Web Designer
"Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart" / "Wu-lung & I-lung"
Profiled in the Original Marquis Who's Who in America®, 2005