I'm not sure if this person is just frugal, or... you decide.
I do eBook and print formatting for authors who don't have the time to learn how to do it, or don't have the time to format the books themselves.
I want to share this very interesting conversation, which got my head spinning a little. I got a message from this woman; she said, "I would like my book formatted to be acceptable by Smashwords and Amazon. Can you do it?"
I replied, "Of course, take a look at my page, and if my prices are okay for you, send me your manuscript."
Her reply, "Yeah, your prices are okay, but my book is 62.500 words, so you should only charge me for 60,000 words for matting and not for 65.000 words. Right?"
Ding-ding the bell went off in my brain, but I wrote, "Okay, I can do that."
She continues, "By the way, my book 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 saying something about errors and that it needs to be corrected."
"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 are hundreds of mistakes, but now the company wants me to pay the same price I paid already."
Me, "Sounds legitimate to me, because they have to do the work from scratch, again."
"That's not right, they should have done it for free, but anyhow, can you give me a discount?"
"Usually I give discount if the author have 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 my prices, you must have noticed that you're getting less than half price already compared to what you paid for that company. I can format your book for $60, and you paid $149 for the same work."
"No, I meant half off of your price!"
I kind of lost my usual patience and wrote, "Well, I can format half your book for half price."
Her reply, "How can you say such thing? I've been fooled already and paid so much money, and now you're mocking me?"
Me, "I'm not mocking you and sounds like you haven't been fooled. They did the job you paid for. If you want to save money, you can download formatting guides and learn how to do it yourself."
"I'll find someone else. Goodbye."
Me, feeling much relief, "Sure, no problem. Good luck with your book."
Erika M Szabo
Author of magical realism, fantasy and children's books, Publishing Coach at
Print & eBook