Note: Please scroll to the bottom of this post for an update from the author.

An email showed up today from an “Insight Publishing” with a great e-book conversion deal for me. They will take my Word document or PDF and turn it into an e-book for the reduced price of $400! That’s down from their usual price of $500.

So glad they lowered that price because they’ve made it go from ridiculous to merely ludicrous. (Or should it be the other way round?)

Anyway, that’s a horrible price for e-book conversion. BB ebooks, which I use, is so much less that it isn’t even funny. And there are other reputable companies which charge a fraction of that price, with excellent service and results. [And you can even do it yourself with products such as Scrivener or Calibre and save even more money. —CM]

I found it curious that there was no web address in the email, so I did a bit of research on the company. Turns out they do have a website, but my search also turned up several articles on them, which make them sound like a scam. Apparently they target motivational speakers to get them to write a chapter for a book where they can be on the cover next to other famous people. Here’s an example:

Gotta love the cheesiness of “Your Name Here.” And what will this masterpiece cost you? Anywhere from $1700 to $3800, depending on how many copies you purchase. Sadly, I know a friend who got taken by a scam like this. She’s basically giving away the books to get them out of her basement.

It’s sad how we know that self-publishing has finally achieved respectability when we see the scammers come out in force. Always, always, do your research before hiring someone to perform a self-publishing service. While I do recommend outsourcing what you can, be sure you’re getting something of quality.

UPDATE: As those of you who are writers probably know, sometimes it’s perfectly clear to you—as the author—what you meant when you wrote a particular piece, even if your readers end up interpreting your words in an entirely different way. So I’d like to amend the above post to make something clear.

The $400 price point I mentioned was for a straight-up text conversion, as in a genre fiction novel. It did not include images, tables, or anything else. Several professionals asked that question of me on Twitter, and they were quite right to ask me to update my post to indicate that fact.

I’m a genre fiction writer, so I wrote the above piece from my perspective, not thinking that self-publishing encompasses a wider field than my own.

Thanks guys! —JM


  1. I’m not saying that this company isn’t a scam, but $400 isn’t unreasonable for a well-done ebook conversion, if you hire someone who takes the time and care to open the ebook, clean up the code, format everything nicely, and test it on multiple devices to make sure it renders properly on all of them. Calibre does a horrible job at creating ebooks – it inserts junk code and formatting that bloats your book size in a way that you can’t even go in and figure out what’s going on to change or fix anything. $400 isn’t unreasonable if you want the best ebook you can have – with the amount of hours freelance developers spend with their hands in the ebook, it’s often not worth their time to do it for less. If you want to settle for lesser quality, then sure, use Calibre.

  2. I would like to politely point out that you get what you pay for. If a self-published author, trying to string together the services traditionally supplied by a publishing house, uses hacker software like Calibre to create an ebook, they will have a mushy mess of a book that they paid no money to produce.

    If that same self-published author uses a professional ebook developer who creates a bespoke epub/mobi that is QA’ed on many platforms, they will have a future proof ebook that will “show it’s slip”; that is, it will reflect the quality and effort put into it.

    Beware of scammy offers, sure. Also be fully aware that $400 is not a ridiculous price Juli Monroe. And that, as in so many things in this world, you will get what you pay for.

  3. I agree $400 is not a ridiculous price at all. But, obviously, it all depends on what you want. Pay $50 and you’ll get what you paid for. By the way, beware! In some countries such as India, Pakistan or Thaïland, you may even get just 1/10th of what you paid for. I’m calling that “quick and crappy conversion”.

    Calibre is definitively a non solution as Amazon has started refusing files converted using this app and, to be clear, any author should just be ashamed of selling the terrible files calibre makes. Some other apps, when not used properly (and that is the exception, not the norm since their developers are asking users to make ebooks in apps that weren’t designed for this in the first place, leading to frustrations and a hell of a brain-hacking) export terrible files too.

    In this case, it is a scam. Great. But don’t disrespect people who are working really hard just QA’ing files on so many devices — to make sure readers will get a great ebook — that the electricity bill is twice more than the price the author paid for the book to be converted. If the people making ebooks in a pro manner were paid what they really deserved considering the mess ebooks are right now, then they would be millionaires. You really have to loves books to make ebooks, it’s not a job, it’s a dedication and your desk is located in Hell. And that is also why prices such as $50 should be considered a warning: it means all that should be done is not necessarily done by the conversion house.

  4. If you could compare just the css from any of the automated conversion solutions that you mention and my hand-built css, you would notice quite a difference:

    My css has built-in degradation that renders content well across a wide range of ereading platforms, from the poor Kindle iOS app up to the robust iBooks; theirs does not.

    My css has typographic finesse (as much as you can get these days on an ereader) for hyphenation, spacing, font choice, etc; theirs does not.

    My css has fixes built in to deal with ereader bugs (for instance, the Nook Color doesn’t render numbered lists that go above one digit correctly); theirs does not.

    These examples already exist in my boilerplate css and can be built upon for titles that contain more than straight text. I challenge you to create an ebooks with lists, sidebars, boxes, etc with auto conversion and have it render well across ereaders. I can do it but it costs time and money and an educated client understands this.

    Juli, you get what you pay for. And it shows.

  5. “And you can even do it yourself with products such as Scrivener or Calibre and save even more money.”

    LOL. Yes, you can do it yourself with very shoddy ebook conversion products and get an ebook chock-full of gobbledygook that you’ll have to fix, so hopefully you’re well aware of HTML, CSS, and have decent design sense.

    The people who work on ebooks and craft them (myself included) are being paid that much for a reason. They have an understanding about how an ebook works, as well as what a reader would expect from one. That’s an extremely valuable skill, and it’s worth paying for.

    Depending on the content of the book (so, prose vs. poetry, heavily illustrated vs. heavy text like a law book or a dictionary) you can decide how much you think the book is worth paying for. Whenever someone asks me how much they should charge for a freelance ebook project, I honestly don’t really know what to say, except to consider how much they’d like to be paid per hour working on the project.

    If it’s an intensive book, then yes, they deserve more money for their time because the code can often be very tedious to deal with. (Mmm, fixed layout!) But the reward is the knowledge that they’ve tested the book, they’ve reviewed it extensively, and have done their best to ensure an optimal user experience. *That’s* where the money goes.

    I mean, yeah! Shop around, see what works for your wallet — but I bet if you unzip the ebook and look inside, the quality is going to vary.

  6. I agree with Laura. Yes, you should be careful when choosing who will transform your book into an ebook, but depending on the book $400 is a very reasonable price.
    A good book conversion to ebook requires a lot of work and the finished product will have a quality that a self made conversion done with Calibre will rarely have. If you want to have an ebook that will look great on different devices and platforms you have to hire an specialist to do it 🙂

  7. I have to agree with Laura. This is just like buying any other kind of specialized service. Reputation, pricing, variations of products produced–all of that matters and needs to be taken into consideration.

    On the BB eBooks site, they have a section titled “Why You Need an eBook Designer”. It confirms that formatting e-books is no simple matter; it’s really not an easy DIY project. I also note that they are based in Thailand. That would explain their suspiciously low pricing. I wouldn’t be surprised that they do a decent job, at least in most cases. I also don’t believe they’re the best you can get, and it might be well worth the extra cost to deal with a company closer to home that has better assurance of customer service and quality.

  8. Calling Calibre “hacker software” does a disservice to Calibre. I’ve written a lot about Calibre, and it’s an excellent piece of software. However, with respect to Chris, who added the comment, I don’t recommend it for professional conversions.

    But I’ll stand by my statement that $400 is a ridiculous price for a mobi/ePub conversion. I’ve done my own conversions. I know what goes into a good conversion and how to judge if one is good or bad. I’m not talking about a good layout/design/typesetting for PDF or print. That’s a different animal entirely and absolutely warrants a higher price. But Word to EPub? No way. I’ve done pricing comparisons, and that’s way high.

  9. Juli,

    If you’ve done the conversions from word then you know about the many issues and bloating it does for an ePub file? Even stripping HTML out and trying to clean word isn’t a simple task. Also, have to agree with Laura, $400 isn’t a bad price, the one thing you didn’t mention though is what type of eBook? Lots of images, pull quotes, sidebars, styled text? Footnotes or endnotes? Fiction or nonfiction? Kids title? Yes, calibre is hacker software, it was meant primarily s a library repository before it really took on conversion and their back end code is pretty bad. Just because it may look right on one screen doesn’t mean it isn’t twice the size, or will fail on other ePub readers.

    So what do you feel is a correct price and why? What does go into a good conversion then, how do you judge that?


  10. Another DIY approach to Word:ePub conversion (Mac only) is to use the $20 Pages app. Simply open the Word document in Pages, optionally make changes and then export to ePub. The quality of that export is quite good according to experts such as Liza Daley (now with Safari Books) who have dug into the files with a text editor. See: I think that the few problems she noted have since been corrected.

  11. The slam on Calibre is somewhat founded for use in professional conversions. It’s not really a great solution for KF8 mobis and Apple will no longer accept Calibre-created epubs for iBooks as a policy.

    Price alone is not a good way to judge ebook production as a general rule – simple novels/short stories can often be done right for under $400. Non-fiction, special or complex formatting needs and or lots of images will push costs higher.

  12. Laura is an expert in this industry and she is correct. If you want good, clean, future-proof code in a file ensured to display well on all (or most) devices, $400 is not a ridiculous price to pay. This is especially true if we’re discussing self-publishers, who likely have little knowledge of different formats/capabilities and tons of questions and requests. Perhaps you’re not considering the amount of time that goes into dealing with a client? Or time needed to clean up the messy file they deliver to you before even beginning conversion? I do agree with your last bit of advice, “be sure you’re getting something of quality.”

  13. Good discussion. Obviously I hit a nerve.

    To be clear, the company I referred to was offering to do a conversion of a basic Word document. No images. No tables. Nothing fancy. Just a straight up fiction conversion. Tables, images, etc. all require more and should cost more.

    However, the new-to-self-publishing author may not know that and should be warned that you can get a very good quality product for considerably less. I’m not trying to undervalue anyone’s work. Just warning that shopping around is a good idea.

    @Laura, I checked your site. You say “It is more affordable than you think: as little as $150 for an ebook, for example.” That still confirms that $400 for a basic fiction product is high.

  14. Teleread does a great service by providing information on companies and services that are trying to con self-publishers/authors, which I believe was the intent of Juli’s post. I do not think she was trying to undermine the profession of people who create eBooks. As she mentioned, she is one of our clients, and we offered conversion on her YA books for around $50 because they were very straightforward conversions that were already very well-structured by her. We do charge more (much more) for books that are more complex with tables, figures, an index, etc. and $400 for a more complicated eBook (like a math textbook) would not be out of the question at our company.

    We are a small business based in Bangkok: the company is Thai-owned; however, I am an American who has been living in Thailand for close to 5 years. I assure you we do not outsource and we try hard to have excellent customer service. Additionally, we do not use automated conversion software from InDesign, Calibre, Scrivener, Sigil, or anything else. We welcome criticism of our company’s policies and business strategies, and I would be delighted to hear from anyone as it helps us improve. However, I find it a bit derogatory and offensive that just because we are Thai-owned and based in Southeast Asia that we would automatically be sub-par and our work should be dismissed. This mentality makes blanket assumptions about 65 million people in one of the fastest growing regional economies that makes you look ignorant and foolish.

  15. Hi Juli.

    Your article starts out with a mucky description of what is expected of an ebook conversion. It is clear, however, that you believe $400–500 is a ridiculous and ludicrous amount to pay for a conversion — presumably any conversion.

    Patently, it is not. This is misinformation and a disservice to the community it appears you want to support.

    A nicely designed conversion of a straight-fiction text has a cost that depends on many factors including extent, quality of the source file, and the degree of hand-holding required. That said, no conversion is ever actually worth $50. Ever.

    Presuming that ebook developers are professionals with a strong understanding of epub2 and epub3, HTML/CSS, MOBI and KF8, device fragmentation, and the ebook marketplace, then I imagine you would never value their time at, say, $50 per hour (assuming a project would take only one hour). Not in North America or anywhere else.

    With all respect to Paul at BB eBooks, I would suggest that articles like this one show a fundamental misunderstanding of ebook development. Having hacked your own way through a personal conversion does not qualify you to write dismissively of the work that ebook developers do. In fact, it makes me question Teleread’s editorial leadership. The comments on this article demonstrate clearly that you’ve offended a whole community. I understand that this wasn’t even the point of your piece, but the opening paragraphs were spammy and offensive.

    Laura Brady

  16. It depends on the service. I agree that the price is scammy for what they seem to offer. I charge up to $900 but I design the book in InDesign, create graphics if needed and a professional cover. I take care of everything and upload it to whatever markets the author wants or is possible for them. I will also add them to places like Good Reads, create author pages, etc. Plus I do a lot of hand holding and marketing advice. It is a lot of work but I love doing it. I will often do some light editing.

    So, with all that, I think my pricing is more than fair. These guys, however, stink ti high heaven of scam.

  17. I’m both an author (traditionally published, self-published), and a book designer who does both print and ebooks.

    Laura’s right and you’re wrong. However rather than keep piling on from the ebook expert’s side, let me offer some thoughts as an author.

    Know how people who aren’t authors don’t understand what’s so difficult about it? People who aren’t ebook professionals don’t understand what’s so hard about that, either. It’s a different kind of difficulty, more technical and interpretive than creative, but it’s still true that most of the important stuff happens where the reader or client doesn’t see it. Done right, it’s invisible.

    “I’ve done my own conversions” is the same as “I wrote a couple of things.” Well, honestly—good! That’s a very good first step. However, it’s not the same as really understanding, even if the people in your critique group—who are probably at the same professional level as you—say nice things about it.

    Know how as a beginning writer, you think you did great, and then a year later, you find out you weren’t actually as slick as you thought? Your dialogue a year ago was actually too on-the-nose, your plot wasn’t as original as you thought, and you argued adamantly about some punctuation issue and then found out you were wrong? Take that and add a huge amount of technical stuff, drawn from both the traditions of typesetting and the headlong plummet of web design, which not only contradicts itself across platforms but changes every week or two.

    Know how people want you to work for free, or for laughable money, and don’t understand why you won’t do it, or why you might get the slightest bit annoyed when they dismiss your hard-won expertise, out of hand, publicly?

    Your arguments sound reasonable if you’re still new to all this, but they’re not actually sound. Rather than digging in and trying to still be right about a smaller portion of what you originally said, it might prove more fruitful to form friendly alliances with the people who, despite shifting formats, wonky device updates, fragmented reading platforms, murky future specs, new frustrations every couple of days, and general ignorance of what they actually DO all day, struggle to invisibly provide their clients with excellent results.

    I could probably do a better job with this comment, but I’m on vacation, and I’d rather be riding a bike or having a pillow fight with my kids. (Writing being mostly rewriting.) If anything came across as snarky or unnecessarily combative, my apologies!

  18. Ordinarily I would be of the opinion that my reasons for hiring/not hiring a company would be no one’s business but my own. However, given that this discussion took a turn I hadn’t anticipated and became, in part, a discussion of BB eBooks, I think some clarification is in order.

    I did not hire them because they were “cheap.” I made the decision to hire them before I knew what they charged. I made the decision because I had read, reviewed and used Paul Salvette’s two books on e-book design and development. I knew his knowledge, approach and professionalism and had decided to hire based on that.

    If they had quoted me $400, I would have paid it and thought, “Hmm, so that’s what a quality conversion costs.”

    Needless to say, I was thrilled to pay far less than that. Based on my research and experience, they set the expectation for this customer on what a conversion should cost. When I was approached by a company, with questionable ethics, who quoted me a price 8 times what I had paid, I called “foul.” I stand by my reasoning to do so.

  19. There’s a bit of misinformation being spread around here.

    Both Amazon and Apple accept files generated in Calibre. For Amazon make sure you add metadata including a cover in Calibre. For Apple or more accurately for epubcheck 3.01 you need to make sure the filename of the html file you import into Calibre doesn’t have any spaces in the name.

  20. During the recession years 2010 and 2011, I pondered using my programming skills to start up and independent eBook formatting business. But I wouldn’t have been charging $400 per book. I was estimating a typical novel could be formatted in 4 to 6 hours at an easy pace. I probably would have charged $100 or $150 and only do 1 or 2 per day. Not a get rich quick job, but it would have been OK.

  21. So Greg, you’d be ok earning $25 or less per hour? Do you live in the U.S.? (I ask because living expenses are higher here than in, say, Thailand.) How many days per month would you work? Did you think about your expenses? Not just your daily life expenses like lunch, but things like hardware/software and the cost of keeping them in good working order, taxes incl. self-employment tax, health insurance, devices for QA, etc. What about the time you’d be spending keeping up with developments in the field, such as the constantly changing software updates and file requirements from vendors? What about the time spent on the phone with clients, educating them on what can or can’t be done? And where would you find the work? I’m sorry if it feels like I’m picking on you, but it takes time and money to run a business and there are a lot of factors that some people never consider.

  22. @Tina

    $25 an hour would be at the low end of acceptable, but I’d be working at home and have health insurance through my wife’s job. At the time I had only temporary contract positions and had to commute to downtown Seattle which eroded three hours plus a day, so the business idea didn’t look half bad.

    I also figured the per hour wage would go up over time as I got more experience and built the business. The first year or two would not be big money makers.

    I do think there was a business model at $100 to $150 per book; I think the $400 per book must carry a lot of overhead; but then I’m a programmer and not a businessman.

  23. Ok with earning $25 an hour?

    Sure that sounds very nice. Considering that the mean hourly wage in the US is $16.71 that would be a 50% increase/raise. ( )

    I have worked in Libraries for almost 20 years and am only at $19.80 an hour.

    Yes good editors make books better. Yes everyone who intends to publish should use an editor. Yes editors just like every profession need to consider the current marketplace. Intellectual jobs with no physical product can be sourced out to anyone with an internet connection. The old saying of “you can have it cheap, fast and high quality – pick two”

    Remember that it is not a question of “how much do I need to make to be happy as an editor” but it is “how much are people willing to pay for an editor”.

  24. Greg, your reply makes some sense, but I notice you didn’t actually go through with your plan. We are speaking from years of experience.

    BOB, you work at a library, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the expenses that I mentioned above. We were discussing running a business. I love what I do, but I’m not in business to lose money.

  25. At $19.80 an hour, you’re getting paid much more. The library is probably investing $40 an hour or more in your development, continuing education, vacations, sick days, health insurance, dental insurance, perks, and taxes-taxes-taxes. They’re paying by the hour, so if you spend two hours a day on email, that’s fine—these are things that aren’t always billable.

    In addition, they’re also paying all the overhead: they’re heating and cooling the building, paying for your workspace and the tools for you to do your job, plus doing all the things that ensure the library continues to run and is able to keep your position instead of letting you go: marketing, customer service, and hire and pay all the other employees in the library that contribute to making the library run.

    When you’re self-employed, you need to average $50 – $100 an hour in order to create a living that is equivalent to something over minimum wage, LOL. And this work requires a great deal of skill, training, and continuing research and development. It’s not minimum-wage work.

    However, living in Thailand would definitely help. I live in a low-cost-of-living area, and that’s my only choice. I couldn’t afford to live in New York or Boston or Caliornia or somewhere I might prefer. It’s hard to compete with the cost of living in India or other countries. Thailand is wonderful, but we all don’t want to leave our first-world countries.

  26. Natasha (and others)

    I think you are missing the point. It is not how much I get paid, that was just a reference point to go along with the median hourly wage.

    I am saying that you WANT to be paid XXX because of the conditions you list and I am saying that way of thinking about business is disappearing. If your fixed costs are too high to be able to compete…. that is what happened to the auto manufacturers.

    I hire artists occasionally. I can get custom digital artwork from people all over the globe. I purchase based on the combination I mentioned above (cheap/fast/quality – pick two) and weigh those options when considering the bids. I do not care where the person lives, what their expenses are, etc. I care about the final product at a price I find acceptable. I find that I can get very high quality work with artists that are easy to interact with for about $20-$25 a project.

    To this topic that started it. Would I pay $400 for someone to convert and fully edit my one document into various formats for publication? Very unlikely. Would I pay money for a program that would do the converting for me and then additionally hire an editor to clean up my work? Yes.

  27. Regarding starting at a low price point and moving up: that is very difficult. Once you establish a price point for your services, whether for design, programming, editing, or e-pub conversion it is difficult to get existing clients to buy into the new higher price. The problem is not that you aren’t worth; it but that you have already produced work of a certain level for a certain price for a specific client base. Your client base is part of your brand. Prospective clients who want to pay more for a superior product will just look elsewhere to someone whose brand stands for quality. It is for this reason that freelancers do not win the race to the bottom.

  28. WOW! This thread has gotten really interesting.
    So, I was really surprised not to hear any mention of the big name intermediators such as SmashWords. With a novel in Word format that follows the Smashwords guidelines, my book would be in all the popular venues and I’d get 60% of the proceeds. More like a partner.
    SmashWords has this thing called the “meat grinder” that converts the Word document to formats acceptable in all of those digital venues.
    I have no personal experience with them but have read their guidelines and it all seems do-able even if one isn’t very technically oriented.

  29. @Frank, the Smashwords Meatgrinder is not something I’d call quality. There is a reason why they now allow authors to submit professionally designed ePUBs. The Meatgrinder is a lowest-common-denominator option to allow those who can’t afford to do it right access to self-publishing.

    It’s better than Calibre, though. It is also at the mercy of all the author doesn’t realize s/he doesn’t know.

  30. “However, I find it a bit derogatory and offensive that just because we are Thai-owned and based in Southeast Asia that we would automatically be sub-par and our work should be dismissed.”

    Ok, I feel a little bit targeted there because of the remark I’ve made in my first post — English is not my native language but I thought “may” means “it is a possibility”.

    So let’s be a little bit more clear…

    I’m not trying to disrespect people located in South-Asia, there are people there who are making a wonderful job but it usually shows on the bill.

    Now, interestingly, we have been modifying quite a lot of flawed files in the last couple of months, such an amount that I considered it would be quite useful to get some stats.

    Of the files we corrected, 80% were made in India*, Pakistan and Thaïland. Those files were so bad (HTML + CSS) that we just wondered how they could have been validated and accepted in the first place.

    * we decided to include the files from renown companies as they are outsourcing in this country but charging publishers as if they were making the files themselves.

    Of those 80%, 90% didn’t pass ePubCheck, which is very very loose — for a simple book, a novel for example, you have to screw the file on purpose.

    Of those 80%, 50% had at least 1 major flaw or 5 significant flaws which impact could be experienced by readers.

    Just explain me why that happened, I would be interested to hear your point of view. I found no answer so…

    … we decided to take a look at the freelance market online. Guess what? There were a vast part of freelancers** from Pakistan, India and Thailand which actually LIED in their descriptions (using publishers that don’t exist or they don’t dealt with as testimonials and references, creating a fake life as a former specialist in a huge company, telling people they had 10+ year experience in EPUB and KF8 fixed layout, etc.).

    ** including companies.

    That’s, and I am really sad to write it, is one of the major problem we have to manage today: correcting files those people are creating as they are becoming large in number and, as a consequence, a real threat to the whole ecosystem (resellers have to deal with them and that is the simple reason why, some explained me, there are overrides today).

  31. @Keith, hope you are having a great vacation. and thanks for stopping by to comment. You weren’t snarky at all. I appreciate what you said. However, you have made an incorrect assumption. I haven’t done just a few conversions. I’ve done hundreds, and I’ve been doing them since the only e-book format was Aportis Doc. I’ve even stripped the DRM from books I’ve purchased so I could get in to debug and fix bad style. Why, then, don’t I do my own conversions for books I sell? Because the standards have gotten complex enough that it’s not fun for me to keep up with them. I have great respect for what reputable companies do for authors, and I know how to recognize good work when I see it.

  32. I think BOB has a point. Many authors will not shell out $400 for ebook formatting; but they might at $100 to $150. I could have maybe made a go at it with my plan because I could afford to earn less than the going rate for programmers working at home with short hours. If I had to schlep to a downtown office for eight hours a day I’d want to be paid at the going rate. Hence, higher costs or outsourcing to Thailand.

    So how viable is the $400 plan? Many ebooks from non-professional publishers have shoddy formatting so that tells me they aren’t paying someone to do it.

  33. I think that it’s also significant to note that the quality of output by the most recent versions of inDesign, Scrivner, Pages, etc. is quite good and continues to improve over time. It seems that we are fast approaching the point where converting to and finessing an *.epub file is a moot issue. Just export to ePub and you are done with most forms of prose. You have a standards-compliant ePub file.
    The other side of that coin is the eReader. Most support ePub 2.1 and support for ePub 3 is slowly emerging. Even the lone holdout among major eReaders, Amazon, accepts ePub as input.
    We have an open standard in ePub and if we’d only follow it, these extra costs could be avoided or minimized further.

  34. Wow! This article DID take a turn in a different direction. And it’s one that obviously needs to be discussed. A professional job should be reflected in the compensation received, but all too often customers — who don’t really know any better — have difficulty seeing the level of expertise that goes into a well-crafted book. This naive perspective is reinforced by meat-grinders (mentioning no names) that make it all seem so simple. But I guess it takes all types.

    I’ve enjoyed the passionate dialog and strong opinions generated here. It’s enough to give an otherwise drab post some measure of value. Thanks, Juli.