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Authors Served:
Just wanted to say thank you for your efforts on my manuscript...You did an awesome job and your attention to detail helped so much! (Tim McKitrick, Timothy Publishing Services, author of "The Hope of Glory")
"Thank you again for all of the time and effort you put into making sure this book is all that God has created it to be. I'm filled with so much joy and excitement." (Asia Carter, author of "Woman in Motion")
"I would especially like to thank Jim Kochenburger, my editor. He was helpful in his comments and corrections, as well as extremely encouraging." (Dawn Morris, "One Will Be Taken")
"Thanks Jim. You did a great job. I am not surprised. Now I know why your services came so highly recommended. " (Lawrence Maeba)
"I am grateful for what you have done and am well pleased" (Lisa Jackson)
"I've got to tell you, the video trailer has gotten rave reviews. Thank you again!" Lonnie R. Walker II
"I took your advice and changed the title of my book. Thanks for the advice because you were right....You made some great changes and I felt confident publishing the completed project. Thank you again!" (Trudy Kay Rowley)
"I truly believe the effort you put into this is going to make it a much better book."--Joel Hunt
Nick Brown--"You are blessed with a true talent."
Joel Rissinger--"Your edits are fantastic--thank you so much!"
Alvin Wilkerson--"Thank you for the great job you did with Bishop's book. It has been a pleasure working with you."
Pamela Valerio--"You did an excellent job, thank you so very much."
Minister Ronny Mills--"Thank you for your services. Be blessed!"
"Thank you so very much! Next year I go on to the next book; hope to do business with you then"--Jennifer Leotaud
"Thanks for your wonderful review."--Pastor Tekena Ikoko
Yoruba M. Chillus--"Thanks a whole heap!"
Wajidally Kahn--"Thanks for completing the manuscript. It was wonderfully done."
"I like the editing you have done...I am finding myself feeling as if I am reading a new book. I have recommended you to 2 friends who have written a book."--Benay Behnke
John Stewart--"Thanks for your work."
"I thank you again for all you've done. I had no idea the magic and life a good editor could bring to an ordinary piece of writing. I am truly amazed and blessed for all your help."--Sylvie Hache
Catherine Sheets--"It's been great doing business with you. Wish you all of God's blessings and thanks again!
"Hi Jim! People are in love with the books. Both books are impacting lives for God. Thank you!"--Lawrence Maeba.
"I don't know how to thank you for using your great talent to edit my work. I couldn't have done this without your help."--Jerry Roberg
"Thank you once again for your help, time and guidance.. Thanks a million ." Claudette Allen
You have put together a project that was nearly shattered due to a broken vessel of clay, in need of healing, yet unyielding to failure. God will use this work in a mighty way for His glory. Thanks, for your help and God's richest blessings. In Him, Ruth Stafford
D.B. Lantz
David Hollier
Celestia Tracy
Funsho Aduloju
Michael Bott
Raul Lopez
Jim Tunstall
Scott Delashaw
Sarswattee Khan
Cheryl Sellinder
Bernice Edwards
Rosie Wilson
Dennis Dwyer
Rich Trayler
Mary Mathes
Sabrina Ramos
Thanks for everything you did! John Anderegg

The Problem with Book Returns Programs Offered by Author Solutions, Westbow, Xulon and Others

BookstoreAs an author, it is difficult for me to comprehend why anyone would even think of returning my book (mock incredulity), but it is a reality for all of us. Each royalty statement I get from my mainline commercial publisher shows 1 in every 300 or so of the books I’ve sold are returned (on average), which is subtracted from my royalties. I take solace in these firm beliefs: 1) the returns are likely due to printer or shipping errors, or 2) the readers cannot appreciate quality (another wink, i.e. he or she does not agree with my mother about my writing skill).

It seems I am not alone. Self-publishing authors often ask me about the “Book Returns Service” (or similarly named programs) offered by self-publishing services like Author Solutions, Xulon, Westbow, and the rest. Many wonder, “Why should I pay hundreds of dollars per year just so my book can be returned?” Good question.

First, there are at least two good reasons to make your book returnable for retailers:

1) It encourages bookstores to order your book.

Many bookstores and chains have a policy against ordering non-returnable titles. Other bookstores are reluctant to purchase a book to resell, especially from a new, unknown, or unproven author.  When a book is returnable for 100 percent of its purchase cost, the retailer incurs zero risk by ordering it.

2) It improves the chances of scheduling book signings and appearances (for the same reasons just mentioned).

However, there is another reason why services like Author Solutions push you to purchase book returns service. They do this to guarantee a revenue stream to cover their potential losses if your books are returned, so that the returns will not impact the portion of your book’s royalties you have agreed to share with them, contractually. In fact, most make a pretty hefty profit from doing so. Wait…what’s that?

They want you to pay $699-$839 (and then in most cases, hundreds of dollars each year thereafter) so that your royalties will not be impacted? (Yes, really.) That would cover a LOT of returned books. (Note my return ratio above, one return for every 300 books I sell.) Had I published with one of these companies, using the ratio of return for my book as an example (and figuring an average of $4 per copy for each returned book), I would have to sell 52,200 books a year (thus 174 returns) to reach the $699 I paid them to make my book returnable. Since most self-published authors do not sell upwards of 50,000 books a year, these publishers are making hundreds of dollars a year on every book they publish, due to their exorbitant returns program fees.

ChristianWriterHelp.com makes no money on author’s books, and we charge nothing to make your book returnable.

Look at the prices for this service as seen on their websites right now:

Authorhouse—$699 for the first year, $300 to renew each year thereafter. (Booksellers Return Program)

—Book is returnable by retailers. Returns are not subtracted from an author’s royalties.

Xulon Press—$699 for the book’s lifetime, no renewal price.*

—Book is returnable by retailers. *Returns ARE still subtracted from an author’s royalties (this according to the most recent information we have from Xulon).

Westbow—$839 for the first year, $360 to renew each year thereafter.  (Booksellers Return Program, also called Booksellers Return Insurance)

—Book is returnable by retailers. Returns are not subtracted from an author’s royalties.


ChristianWriterHelp.comFREE! That’s right, free.

—Book is returnable by retailers. Returns, if there are any, are subtracted from an author’s royalties by the distributors who pay our authors directly. (For most of our authors, this amounts to $30-$40 a year.)

What is really happening here and why does ChristianWriterHelp.com NOT charge a fee to authors who publish through us for “Booksellers Returns Service”?

1) Authorhouse and the rest are not protecting your royalties as much as they are protecting their bottom line in regard to the portion of royalties they make on each sale of your book.

Chances are slim (to none?) that your book will be returned at such a rate that it will cost you (and them) $699 – $839, or even that $360 renewal.

ChristianWriterHelp.com makes no profit from your book’s sales, so we have no need to guard that revenue stream.

2) It costs nothing for ChristianWriterHelp.com (and all the companies above) to mark your book returnable for retailers.

Therefore, we don’t charge authors for it. It would be great if the publishing companies mentioned above would grant the authors what they truly need (the option to make their book returnable by retailers–and thus orderable without risk), without forcing them to pay $699 – $839 to cover returned books. They should not combine the two.

This is just one more reason to publish your book with ChristianWriterHelp.com.  


Are you considering self-publishing through Authorhouse, Westbow, Xulon Press or others? Request your FREE custom publishing proposal from us by clicking here!   We’ll match it feature to feature with what they are offering.


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