All in the day's work
Erika M Szabo
Today I'll share a story that happened not too long ago...
I do eBook and print formatting for GBBP for the authors who don't have the time to learn how to do it or don't have the time to format the books themselves, therefore, they have to rely on services to have their books correctly formatted.
I want to share this very interesting conversation with an author that got my head spinning. I got a message from her, "I heard from author friends that you format books. I need my book formatted to be acceptable by Createspace and Amazon. Can you do it?"
I replied, "Yes, I can."
Her reply, "Oh, good! Give me your email and I'll send you my book. I want the print 5x8 size."
Ding-ding the bell went off in my head, "Okay, we will discuss the details after you order the formatting service. Here is the link to the page: http://www.goldenboxbooks.com/book-formatting.html"
She sent me another message shortly after, "I was under the impression that you format books for free for author friends."
"Formatting a book is tedious work, I don't do it for free."
"Okay, but my eBook was formatted already, I paid $149 for a company to do that, so you should give me a discount because it had been formatted already."
Me, "Then why do you need formatting?"
"Because Smashwords keeps sending me emails about errors and they keep rejecting my book."
"Well, then have the company that formatted your book correct the errors, it must be included in their price."
"Okay, I'll be honest with you, they did correct it and it was accepted, but after I downloaded the book from Amazon and read it, I found a lot of mistakes, and then I realized that I sent them the wrong, unedited file, so there were hundreds of mistakes. I corrected the mistakes in the original file but now the company wants me to pay the same price for formatting that I paid already."
Me, "Sounds legitimate to me, because they have to do the work again."
"That's not right, they should have done it for free, but anyhow, can you at least give me a discount?"
"Usually GBBP gives a discount if the author has more than one book to format, but how much discount you have in mind?"
"I'm thinking half price, at least."
"Well, if you looked at the prices, you must have noticed that you're getting less than half price already compared to what you have paid for that company."
"No, I meant half off of your price!"
I wrote back, "Sorry, I cannot do that. Formatting a book is tedious work but if you want to save money, you can download formatting guides and learn how to do it yourself."
"Okay, I'll find someone else to do it. Goodbye."
Me, feeling much relief, "Sure, no problem. Good luck with your book."
Respecting the work of others and not trying to take advantage of others are human values, which, unfortunately, are not possessed by everyone.