I wanted to address something that was brought up last night on LinkedIn. I was basically placed on the chopping block because the company I founded (Ozwind) actually charges fees to providing publishing services. Can you imagine? A company that asks for payment in return for services? And entry fees? For a contest? How unreasonable! Right?
This sort of situation is exactly why I left LinkedIn before. The nastiness and disrespect hasn’t changed much it seems. My stay here may be temporary yet again, not that anyone would notice it if I left. I don’t mind discussions and exchanges, but there is no sense in being involved in perpetuating harsh comments and arguments. I won’t. It goes against who I am and what I believe in.
I run my life with a positive outlook (or at least I try). I also use that same concept as a foundation for my business. STRENGTH-BASED approaches to problems, situations, and personnel go much farther than negativity. The old saying, “You attract bees with honey, not vinegar” still holds water.
Perhaps this will serve as an explanation for why Ozwind asks for fees. AND it may also give you an idea as to why we are charging entry fees for a contest we are running currently:
The fact is that everything in this world COSTS us something, whether it is time or money. When I get a hair cut, I have to pay for it. When I go to Wal-Mart, I have to pay for goods. When I want to be involved in a virtual book tour, I have to pay an entry fee. When I want to set up a booth at an event, I have to pay a set up charge.
Ozwind DOES charge fees because we are PROVIDING A SERVICE. Our authors get 60% of their net royalties. That is much more than a traditional publisher, whether they are large or a small independent press. I have personal experience in that area, so I know I’m speaking the truth.
We are a small business just beginning our journey. To ask for entry fees for a contest IS NOT unreasonable. The PRIZE is that the chosen works are put together with other stories and the winners WILL BE PUBLISHED. I would have jumped at a chance like that when I started out in my writing career. It would have been well worth the $5.00 entry fee.
I know there are “free” services out there, such as GoodReads, but formatting, editing, cover design are NOT free, unless you can take care of all of that yourself. So, as I said, in some form, there is a cost.
From researching our business model, I learned that large traditional publishers usually ask authors to sign over their rights, so essentially you lose the control that you have over your work. Vanity presses simply ask you for the money and then publish the work, whether it is ready for the market or not (that I know from my own experiences).
HYBRID PUBLISHERS, which is what we are, have guidelines that are put in place to ensure quality. The contest we are having right now is aside from all of this. It is to give first time authors a chance to add something to their history. It makes them more marketable. Essentially, we are helping one another by gaining momentum toward the same goal: being published and finding a fan base.
First of all, if you can’t be nice, don’t say anything at all. That’s how I was raised. So, if you disagree with our business model or anything I’ve said here, that’s okay. Not everyone is going to agree on everything. Nevertheless, if you’re going to be rude, keep your thoughts to yourself. We don’t mind being challenged, but there is no point in being hateful about it.
Secondly, if you have questions, we welcome those. We don’t mind explaining who we are and why we do what we do. It gives us the opportunity to help.
Thirdly, if you do leave a nasty comment, then we will rise to the challenge gracefully. I don’t believe in responding to hate with hate. That doesn’t solve anything. What I do embrace is professionalism. With that said, I will not tolerate hate filled language or hate filled criticism. So if life on LinkedIn is cut short again, I won’t go back. And if Ozwind “lost” you “at the fees,” then we wish you all of the best in seeking free publishing services, because trust me, you will not find them.
As Indies, and yes, Ozwind is an INDEPENDENT HYBRID PUBLISHER, we need to be helping one another. That is why I hosted three blog tours, devoted myself to countless other activities, and give away more than I need to. I believe we are all trying to reach the same goal and if we don’t give each stepladders to get there, what does that make us? Well, what it makes us is rather ugly, so I won’t get into that. The point is that we need to support one another in this market because it’s overwhelming. The market is flooded and to stand out is a hurdle in itself. So, I hope you read this post with an open mind and heart and leave the negativity in the dark.