Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Battle of the self-publishing titans: A review of Wordclay's services

Here is the feedback I recently provided to Wordclay.com's customer service:

I've been using Lulu.com since 2005, and thought I'd give Wordclay a try because Lulu's shipping rates have become outrageous. I uploaded -- and then deleted -- a manuscript to Wordclay this morning, and if anyone's interested, I have the following feedback:

Manuscript formatting
Although I was using an approved font -- Calisto MT -- my manuscript came out all wonky in the galley. I changed my font to Georgia, and that solved the problem, except for the fact that I prefer Calisto MT.

Wordclay's copyright page
Although I already have a proper copyright page in my book, Wordclay added it's own. So, my book had two copyright pages, which also threw off my headers at the beginning of the book (I don't want headers or footers to show until the start of the actual text of the book on page 14 or so. I had this all set and formatted in MS Word, but Wordclay's "bot" undid that).

Table of Contents
Not all of my books have a Table of Contents, but this one did. On entries where the text wrapped to a second line, I had formatted the page numbers to appear, along with all of the others, at the far right side of that page. Wordclay's "bot" undid this formatting so that pages numbers for entries that wrapped appeared right after the title, on the left.

The DIY cover fee/process. I was all set to go through with the publication process, just to see the quality of a Wordclay book, but was stopped in my tracks by the limited cover art options. I will not pay -- nor should I have to pay -- $25 to use my own cover art. You don't need a panel of experts to take my cover's rectal temperature, Wordclay only needs to provide dimensions and recommended resolution specs to users in order for proper covers to be uploaded.

So, there ended my experience with Wordclay. In light of the cover art limitations and fee, I won't and cannot abide the needless and awkward alterations to my manuscript by the Wordclay "bot", and thus will publish none of my work with Wordclay. I found you on Stumbleupon about a year ago, and only my inchoate dissatisfaction with Lulu.com led me to try you out. I don't agree with Lulu's outrageously overpriced shipping fees, but their service is easy-to-use and intuitive, and respectful to my work. They also allow mere vulgarians to upload their own cover art without the Panel of Elders' scrutiny beforehand.

Good luck and goodbye.


Moriah Jovan said...

Can you not upload a PDF?

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

Nope. Word docs are the only option. But that still doesn't address the unreasonable situation where a writer has to pay at least $25 to Wordclay to use their OWN cover art.