FYI: Penguin Random House Is Still In The Vanity Business

Consider me one of the many victims of those publishing scammers. Always interesting to understand why the press shuts its mouth on their shady practices. They simply are afraid to criticize their partners and clients.
As David Gaughran mentions (7 January 2016):
“When Penguin purchased Author Solutions in 2012 for US$116m, virtually all the press had the same angle: Penguin was making a smart move into the fast-growing world of self-publishing. No mention was made of the controversial business practices of Author Solutions, or that the giant vanity press resembled a viable self-publishing platform much in the way a glass of hydrochloric acid is a recommended way to cleanse after the holidays.”

Read to whole story here: Penguin Random House

One of the many complaints I have is the way they give totally unreliable “reports” about sales, while I am not waiting for big sales. They are refusing to enter the 21st century in banking they do not pay electronically but through stupid checks in BP sent by snail mail from the USA. When I signed the contract they promised electronic payments. Those checks are worthless as the cost of sending those to Belgium (you can’t cash checks in Beijing) plus the Belgian bank charges would produce a negative payment. Why checks? Because they want to save money. Who still uses checks?
In other words, as good as zero income from my book.

Anybody wants the worthless checks? Need to pick them up in Beijing!

Print is not dead and making a comeback

See the interesting article:
22 September 2015 – The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead
Media New York Times
By ALEXANDRA ALTER
New York Times

Some of the interesting facts, read the full article for all details:

E-book sales soared, up 1,260% between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers; print sales dwindled, bookstores struggled to stay open. Analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015 but digital sales have instead slowed sharply. E-book sales fell by 10% in the first five months of 2015. Digital books accounted in 2014 for around 20% of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.
Sales of dedicated e-reading devices have plunged as consumers migrated to tablets and smartphones. And according to some surveys, young readers who are digital natives still prefer reading on paper.

Independent bookstores are showing strong signs of resurgence. The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in 2,227 locations in 2015, up from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years ago.
The big publishing houses are pouring money into their print infrastructures and distribution. Most booksellers agree that they are witnessing a reverse migration to print.

Some 12 million e-readers were sold in 2014, a steep drop from the nearly 20 million sold in 2011, according to Forrester Research. The portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32% in the first quarter of 2015, from 50% in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.
Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper. With little difference in price between a US$13 e-book and a paperback, some consumers may be opting for the print version.
It is also possible that a growing number of people are still buying and reading e-books, just not from traditional publishers. The declining e-book sales reported by publishers do not account for the millions of readers who have migrated to cheap and plentiful self-published e-books, which often cost less than a dollar.

At Amazon, digital book sales have maintained their upward trajectory. In 2014 Amazon, which controls some 65% of the e-book market, introduced an e-book subscription service that allows readers to pay a flat monthly fee of US$10 for unlimited digital reading. It offers more than a million titles, many of them from self-published authors.

Finalement, déjeuner avec Li Chunyan, auteur

Voir article précédent:
“Les clés pour réussir sur le marché chinois par Chunyan LI”

Les clés pour réussir sur le marché chinois par Chunyan LI



Le 22 avril j’ai finalement rencontré en personne Chunyan, lors d’un déjeuner chez Morel (évidemment!). J’ai aussi eu le plaisir de recevoir une copie signée de son livre.
On avait tellement de choses à se dire…
Ensuite elle est passé voir mon ami Philippe Reltien de Radio France. Elle a certainement eu un séjour très chargé à Beijing…

Les clés pour réussir sur le marché chinois par Chunyan LI

Un livre écrit par Chunyan Li, une jeune Franco-Chinoise, “Réussir sur le Marché Chinois” est basé sur les témoignages concrets et éclairants d’entrepreneurs qui ont connu déboires et succès dans “ce nouvel Eldorado de la consommation”
Le livre repose sur les témoignages d’une centaine d’entrepreneurs français et chinois qui partagent sans détours leurs expériences sur les principales difficultés locales : le jeu des concurrents nationaux, le flou réglementaire, les difficultés de recrutement et de fidélisation de la main d’oeuvre, etc…
Il se fait que je figure aussi dans le livre… Je dois féliciter Chunyan pour son approche professionelle et méticuleuse, c’était un plaisir de travailler avec elle.

Trois points le différencient: combinant deux angles – occidental et chinois –, privilégiant une approche pragmatique et analysant en profondeur l’influence de la culture sur les affaires. À la fois ouvrage de référence et guide pratique, ce livre s’adresse à tous les francophones désireux de s’installer en Chine, faire des affaires en Chine ou avec la Chine.
Avant-propos de WU Jianmin, ancien porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères et ancien ambassadeur de Chine en France; préface d’Henri Giscard d’Estaing, Président Directeur Général du Club Méditerranée.

Chunyan LI, née en Chine et diplômée de l’université de Pékin et de HEC Paris, vit en France depuis onze ans et voyage régulièrement entre les deux mondes. Elle a accumulé plus de dix ans d’expériences en Conseil en stratégie, Marketing/Développement commercial et Gestion de projets internationaux dans les deux pays et des univers très variés – télécoms, services, cosmétiques, énergie & utilities, grande distribution, automobile et construction. Fondatrice de FEIDA Consulting (www.feidaconsulting.com), société de conseil qui accompagne les dirigeants d’entreprise sur les questions de stratégie et de performance entre la Chine et la France/l’Europe, elle anime en outre le forum virtuel France-Chine (www.forum-francechine.com) ayant pour objectif de promouvoir des échanges franco-chinois.

“Réussir sur le marché chinois”
100 dirigeants révèlent les secrets du casse-tête chinois
Auteur: Chunyan LI
Date de publicaiton: 5 décembre 2014
Edition: Eyrolles – 272 pages – 24€
En vente: sur Amazon (version papier et éléctronique) et Fnac.

En savoir plus:
http://www.lesechos.fr/enjeux/les-plus-denjeux/idees/0203992718425-les-cles-pour-reussir-sur-le-marche-chinois-1072307.php?drHu5TFy7y6zcd5I.99
http://www.forum-francechine.com/reussir-sur-le-marche-chinois/ (page dédiée aux lecteurs)
http://www.feidaconsulting.com/presse-medias (presse & médias)

Author Solutions: new and shittier ways to screw writers

Yep, and now also available in Spanish!
Read the full story:
http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/author-solutions-steps-up-global-expansion-penguin-random-house-integration/#more-3575
Seems AS finds the US market saturated, so it moves to conquer “foreign” writers. Sad that Penguin is enjoying the scams. Says a lot about traditional publishing.
I am one of the victims. In earlier posts I already listed some of the complaints:

  1. Inflated costs for “marketing” that delivers nothing
  2. Promising to set up social media – zero value as you can do it all yourself (Facebook, e-mail, etc.)
  3. I was promised to be paid my royalties by electronic bank transfer but they only can send a stupid check in BP from the USA by snail mail to Beijing, so I can get at most 40% of the check’s value (they never heard about modern banking nor PayPal).
  4. I am more than suspicious my worldwide sales are under-reported

Recently I also discovered why my book promotion through their book stubs went nowhere: 90% of the codes were wrong, so people who got the “gift” were not impressed. No wonder I never received reaction.
Also, the way they set up Amazon sales was a blunder. You need to be a detective to figure out, yes, my book also exists as e-book. Print and e-book are not linked. And nothing I can do about that myself.
So, when they even now come back to me, trying to sell some more worthless marketing packages of all kinds: I tell them I don’t need them, they are 5 times too expensive and why should I promote sales if I do not get royalties anyway?
I now started writing other books and for sure I will never go back to any of the dozens of companies all under the same management: Author Solutions.