A Review of Notionpress dot com

Notionpress a publication if a fraud.

Notionpress claims to be an online hard copy publisher like createspace dot com in USA. On its web site it proudly proclaims the number of authors registered with it and the number of books it has published. The reality of these numbers is however different.

Fraud is an industry in India:

Problem of fraud is next only to the problem of crony capitalism and unscrupulous corporations. In another instance we had seen the demonstration how a coaching institute is systematically cheating the students by selling improbable dreams. A similar story is unfolded in notionpress dot com. But the fact is fraud is a serious allegation. How can I say it. As per laws of India, fraud is concealment of material facts. More about ‘Fraud’ can be read here. The website of Notionpress proclaims free publishing in these words:

“Publish your book for free to the Notion Press store. Use our free online tools to Write, Format your book interior, Design your book cover, Print copies, and Sell your book via the Notion Press Online Store. You can also choose from our list of paid services to enhance your book.”

Regarding paid service it is claimed:

“Pro-Publishing is designed to assist authors who are serious about their work. All of our paid publishing packages include Premium Book Cover Design, Book Interior Design, an ISBN, and distribution via the Notion Press Store, Flipkart, Bookadda and other online retail bookstores.”

Mark the words in red “Print copies” which is a euphemism to purchase your own book. It appears that either one has to pay notionpress for every step of printing or one has to buy stipulated books. However the condition of buying books is not explicit rather it is to be understood.

Actually the free editor provided for creating the book is a kind of challenge. It is not expected that any person get through it and create a book her/himself. Idea is to dissuade a person from using it and force him/her to pay for publication of book as professional fee for the services rendered. This is in addition to the profit they will make by selling the book.

How I was duped:

I registered and in reply to welcome message I asked as to how foot notes can be created in free editor but in reply they answered that foot notes are not supported. I tried for one month, an hour or so everyday, to create a book. Actually I was not creating, the book is already sold at amazon and createspace but Notionpress has no way to upload a book in free section, hence I had to paste it chapter-wise. One has to use an online editor which is partly a WYSWYG html editor. I had thought that I will convert the footnotes to a bracket but html editor supported the end notes. Finally I submitted my book ‘How to make a Will’ to Notionpress sometime in last week of December 2013. Its status remained ‘pending under consideration’ for entire January 2014. I almost forgot about it, hoping I will get an email. But none was received. A few days back when I logged in, I saw the status of the book was ‘rejected.’ No mail, no reason, nothing. If there was any problem in the contents, or formatting or anything, they should have informed me in accordance with principles of natural justice, but why should they do. when that is not part of plan.

Idea is to increase the number of associated authors by offering free services so that they may look popular and to make money from those desperate aspiring authors who would pay anything to proclaim that they are published authors. That is the bottom line. With more than 27 thousand authors they have published slightly above 3000 books. That means less than one book per 7 authors. The number speaks but no one out there cautioned me. Hence this post.

Unless one is too desperate to pay anything to get published, do not waste time at Notionpress dot com. Stay away.

One may ask the list of month-wise free books they have published in last one year but they will not give away this data. They are here to make money not to do public service. Very right. But they must provide a method to close an account with them. There is none. While they being a private party may not be obliged to be fair in business but they can certainly be compelled to remove all data from servers. Would I? and Should I do that?

Added on 3rd September.

More problems after publication with notionpress:

“Your books are sold in all major retailers like Flipkart.com, Amazon, Bookadda,
Infibeam, Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd and many more.”

After I wrote this review and notionpress responded and asked be to give pdf file of my book. I did and the book is now in print here. Now you remember the tagline of Notionpress: “Publish a Book in India – Publish & Sell your Books Globally‎”. Now my book is published for one year but it is not shown anywhere except on notionpress store. No Amazon nothing. The notionpress store is the global platform. In my case makes it more clear because the kindle edition of this book is on sale and print edition is on sale on createspace. Both titles are doing well but here at notionpress only one copy has been sold even though it is 1/4th the price at which sold at createspace.

My guess is when you pay for promotion they start associating with other channels. Otherwise there is no explanation as to why just one copy is sold in entire year?

Second problem is shipping charge. Who will pay shipping of Rs.50/- on a book of Rs.135/-? Hardly any one. And Cost of printing? nearly 40% of price goes in cost. Now on 135/- author gets royality of 77/- if sold on Notionpress, otherwise royality is only 23/-! So it is uneconomical to buyer as well as seller. It is only now that notionpress has increased royalty to 70%.

Another problem is revision or change of price. Once a book is published, dashboard offers no way to stop the publication or to make any changes. Even the change of price. It is simply a mouse trap.

About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

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