I wrote an educational book (Real Worl Spanish) and with zero experience in publishing, I looked for a publisher online. I found this very good-looking website www.bookwritinglane.com.
What I will tell you about is absolutely true and none of the people I have dealt with in this Publishing boiler room can deny it. They all know really well that what I am about to describe is true. I am writing this for one simple reason - the management of Book Writing Lane has been completely ignoring me and I basically do not have any recourse in what I consider a complete fiasco, which I paid $2,500 for. If anyone at BWL would be willing to settle this whole mess in a reasonable way, this review and other actions against BookWriting Lane would never happen.
Their sales staff sold me their amazing services, which I know were quite hyped up but I only wanted to edit and publish my book.
I wrote it, did the basic edits, and designed the cover. Well, I got what I paid for, I guess, but the treatment I got at this company has been so bad that I will fight for some refunds. Before I get into the story, let me tell you that the sales staff is so slick that they tell you (among other lies) that at any point of the publishing process, if you are not satisfied, you can ask for a full refund. Let me just say that they flat-out lie about what they will do for you.
Of course, I know that most of their pitch is total nonsense and exaggeration, but I wasnt looking for any of that. What truly ticked me is how they treated me after they got my money. Let me tell you a story.
Basically, they assigned a manager to my project, which was not writing my book, but just editing the text and publishing the book on Amazons KDP. Nothing fancy, fairly simple.
After I paid $800 for this very basic service, they put me through 5 months of complete horror. These highly skilled editors were not only capable to edit a very basic text but created many more errors through absolute negligence and disinterest in my book (finally, after many a complaint, and endless back-and-forths, they assigned a good editor who did finish the edits correctly). After that, I had to go through yet another round of negligence because they couldnt get the very basic typography right. To change a letter in a word to Bold took 2 weeks as they would change the wrong thing and/or mess up the font.
I have all the emails where I explain in detail and in a color-coded fashion what they needed to correct. It was so bad, I cannot even tell you. One thing that stood out for me was that every single person I have dealt with in this company has a very distinct foreign accent. This is not a xenophobic comment at all, it is just a curious thing because when I asked about it (very politely as I speak several languages), they all told me that English was their native tongue (absolutely not!).
For obvious reasons, I was just making sure that the editing of my book wasnt outsourced to Asia.
After several really frustrating months, Book Writing Lane had to replace the manager of my project. The new manager assured me that under his watch, my book will get edited and published quickly and correctly and that we will do an amazing job and the promised 3 x ROI is virtually guaranteed. He also said that he had published over 100 books and his customers love him. You will hear a lot of this from them - a lot.
Also that the old manager was fired (I highly doubt it!). After several more rounds of negligent edits with this new manager, the book was ready to be published. And another horror began.
In short, before going to publishing, I made sure that my book was absolutely perfect to the smallest detail and it got published as an e-book on Amazon. Several weeks later, the new manager called me that my paperback is published exactly as the final draft and the cover (I created).
Long horror story short, he did not use the final draft and published the book in an incorrect format and font, which made it almost unreadable. I had no way to check the correctness of the paperback and went off the already correctly published e-book (there is absolutely no difference in fonts, typography, etc.) In the meantime, several people already bought the paperback - which arrived to them as one big and embarrassing mess, with my name on it, I might add. Of course, I found out about it from a customer who bought the book a week after it got published with all the completely negligent mistakes (I did suggest to Book Writing Lane that it would be prudent to see the paperback printed before publishing it - but they told me that since the e-book is published correctly, so will the paperback - oh well.it didnt)
Book Writing Lane had yet another (more senior specialist) manager (same accent) call me, stating that Book Writing Lane is going through financial problems, he was profusely apologizing and he assured me that he will oversee the publishing of my book personally. I couldnt stand the tone of his voice as he acted as if everything was my fault at the same time.
By the way, they all tell you that they are specialists with lots of experience in publishing (like the manager of my book who allegedly published more than 100 books - HIGHLY debatable, let me tell you.) In the meantime, the current manager of my project told me he would take a day off and publish my book on Monday. I got an email from Amazon at 4 am the following morning, that my book is (again) published. One can imagine the surprise, right? Complete chaos as they are juggling the project.
After a week or so, I received the paperback in the mail and could see that finally it was published correctly.
In the meantime, I tried to complain to the management of Book Writing Lane (all in vain).
They blocked me in their chat, nobody had contacted me, and nobody ever answered my phone/written messages. I somehow digested the entire thing as my book was finally published in both e-book and paperback. I also thought that the marketing campaign will do OK, and I was OK with all they had put me through at the time, However:
Here goes the marketing horror story.
First, I am well aware that generating book sales is not easy. I am also aware that to promise someone 3 x ROI is a coin flip statement at best.
But, my book is pretty specialized, and I know there is a market for it - if people can see it! That is what I paid the $1,700 for. Before the book got published, I paid for a package of 6 months of social media marketing. The marketing manager of my project (same accent) was not able to finalize a simple marketing calendar.
Their proposed images and slogans looked like they were created by a 5-year-old kid on free Canva. The worst thing was that the calendar was designed with so many gross grammatical mistakes, it was embarrassing. I had to completely redo the marketing calendar myself. I mean, I am selling a book that deals with learning a foreign language, and the marketing calendar was designed with CRAZY grammatical mistakes and generic images you can see in elevators.
Again, I swallowed the craziness and redesigned the entire calendar myself.
The sales staff and the project manager told me that the marketing is so effective that Book Writing Lane virtually guarantees a 2-3 x ROI and high visibility on Amazon and social media. In addition, the manager told me that he will send me a marketing report every month for 6 months. In a coconut shell, none of that has happened.
All the little sales of my book were to people who I know personally, in other words, the brilliant marketing campaign of Book Writing Lane didnt work at all, and I suspect that there is none.
Also, I got one marketing report back for December and that was it. Upon contacting the project manager about the marketing, he never even replied and the marketing manager told me that the marketing campaign simply didnt work and that my report is being generated (a total lie as the many lies throughout the entire process of publishing my book).
Maybe that is how these people operate in their culture, but I hope you can see the absurdity of how they deal with customers.
I got what I paid for, sure, I get it. But $2,500 is not that little for basic stuff, and the process and results of whatever Book Writing Lane has done are beyond ridiculous. They basically promise huge things, they are willing to start you on a $200 (no joke), and they make it look like they care about your book. They dont!
All they care about is to somehow squeeze the cash out of you and then manage the disaster. The negligence I have experienced was the worst I have experienced in the 50 years of my life. And I do understand that every process has its issues, and companies have issues with staff and things of that nature, but what Book Writing Lane is doing is unethical, to say the least. They had the audacity to call me from their customer satisfaction department to ask me about my experience.
After I expressed my disgust to them, they assured me that someone will call me the following week - of course, nobody had called ever, just like many times before.
I do consider myself a reasonable individual and I can forgive a lot but there is a limit to everything. For example, I was willing to forget about the entire publishing mistake if they replaced (or paid for) the sold books they published incorrectly. They completely denied my request - this is how money-grabbing and flat-out nasty they are. Their business looks legit and wonderful, but my experience has been the worst business experience of my life, and what gets me the most is that they rely on the distance and the inability of the customer to show up in their office (if there is one), and complain in person.
I find it very sleazy, unethical, and opportunistic.
Interestingly enough, when I told them that I will file a complaint with The Golden Gate BBB, I cannot access any BBB on my computer at all.
User's recommendation: If you want stress, uncertainty, endless excuses, negligence and a *** treatment - go with Book Writing Lane.
Location: Christiansted, Saint Croix Island
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