SBPRA Publishing – Is it Worth it?

I published my first book with SBPRA (Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency) in 2012, back when I didn’t know enough about the publishing business. All I knew was that publishing was no longer like it used to be. I hadn’t heard about self publishing yet, but I was learning about vanity publishers. So, just like you, I started researching online. I found some happy and some unhappy customers, the price seemed OK, and the company looked legit. Finally, I sent in my manuscript.

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I still remember the excitement when I received feedback about my manuscript. The feedback was professional and detailed, and they told me that they wanted to publish my book. They offered me two different contracts from which I could choose. That’s how my SBPRA journey began, and it has been a rocky one. There are some things I was happy with, but there were also some factors that were unpleasing, frustrating even … So, my opinion is mixed.

To answer your most pressing question, are they legit? Yes, they are legit. Below, I will give you my review of this vanity publisher.

SBPRA Review

Name: SBPRA

Website: http://sbpra.net/

Price: depends on the type of contract

Overall Rank: 7 OUT OF 10

 

SPBRA, Product Overview

The Good & the Bad

 

The Good:

PRO #1 – excellent book cover design. The book cover designer asked me what I wanted and he showed me several options. He worked closely together with me to get me the book cover I wanted. He was professional and delivered excellent results.

PRO #2 – You get to pick the publishing contract that meets your needs the most.

PRO #3 – SBPRA’s presence at international book fairs

 

The Bad:

CON #1 – Some costs seem unnecessary. A few years ago they charged me around $500 US to change a paperback into an e-book. Now I know that I can do that for free. Back then, I didn’t know that.

CON #2 –  bad communication. Emails are answered late, if they’re answered at all. I am having many issues getting a reply from SBPRA regarding a book I published with them. The only time I receive prompt replies is when they want to charge me for something. The support email doesn’t seem to work, and all other email addresses I have from them do not give me any reply either. Facebook messaging also doesn’t seem to get any results with them. This is the biggest reason why my qualification of them is so low. To ensure a successful partnership, good communication with your clients is essential.

CON #3 – I wasn’t happy with the editing. There were some errors which the editor missed and that I had to point out myself. The quotation marks change in the middle of the book. First they are like this – “”– Then they are suddenly like that – » – … That doesn’t make any sense. Unfortunately for me, I noticed this after the book was published, and any additional changes would incur more costs, which I couldn’t afford at that time.

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Who is SBPRA For?

This publisher is helpful for authors who do not want to go on the self-publishing route. Vanity publishers like SBPRA do all the work for you; editing and formatting of your manuscript, book cover design, information for back cover (if you publish a paperback), distribution to major online book sales platforms (for example Amazon, Barnes and Noble, …), and press release.

 

SBPRA Tools

Editing and formatting are included in your contract, and you can work closely with the book cover designer to get exactly what you had in mind for your book cover. In my case, the book cover designer was amazing, so I’ll give him a 10!

SBPRA converts paperbacks into Kindle versions (at an extra cost). It also offers marketing services in different price ranges. Not all authors are good at marketing and sometimes it is best to leave that up to the professionals. Let’s face it though, after you spent a year writing your novel, having to spend 1000s of dollars to get your hard work seen may seem a little discouraging to some. It was to me, so I passed on the marketing services and I decided to learn it instead.

book-fair

At an extra cost, SBPRA representatives will present your book at international book fairs. There are some huge book fairs such as the ones in Guadalajara, Frankfurt, and China where your book should be introduced. It will help get your book exposed and it can also result in getting your book uploaded on more online book sales platforms.

So, the tools that SBPRA offers are definitely useful and effective.

 

SBPRA Support

Support leaves much to be desired. As I mentioned before, when I sent them an email I got a mail error delivery message. It’s really a lot of work to get someone at SBPRA to answer you, unless you are paying them for some service … I also tried to contact them via Facebook messaging, but the message doesn’t seem to get delivered. I just see that it was “sent” …

 

SBPRA Prices

They offer different contracts. The costs can run between 1000 – 2000 US dollars. They also offer cheaper options. For example, my contract stated that I had to pre-sell 100 books. Since hardly anyone paid me up front I had to buy them all first and then sell them – and remind people that they had ordered them … It was a big mess, and I wouldn’t do it again.

If I ever did a pre-sale again, I would organize it better, and I would make sure the profits were for me, since I am making the effort here. I would also do it directly on Amazon or Goodreads. Both platforms offer excellent tools for self publishing authors. Back then, I didn’t know much about vanity publishers. You live and learn. This is why I post my review, to help other authors who are – like I was years ago – not sure which route to take or which publisher is good, trustworthy, or should be avoided.

Regarding other expenses, I mentioned the various services that SBPRA offers (two paragraphs back, see “SBPRA Tools).

As an author, you need a good editor and a great book cover. Marketing is also extremely important. Just be prepared to have a budget ready for all of it. I’m not claiming that SBPRA services are overly expensive, because I don’t think they are. This vanity publisher has competitive prices. Nevertheless, adding up all expenses, depending on how many packages you buy, it can end up being quite a huge expenditure.

 

My Final Opinion of SBPRA

I used SBPRA once and I am not planning on using it again. Although they clearly have good sales teams, the author is expected to invest a lot of money to get his/her book introduced at book fairs. You need to spend more money if you want other services, such as getting your book on sales websites in other countries, book marketing in general, and so on.

Review

Reviews about SBPRA are mixed. Some authors write glowing reviews about SBPRA, which I will share with you as well. One has to be fair, right? I will show you positive and negative customer reviews of SBPRA, and I’ll let you come to your own conclusion.

I still think though that their email response is usually faster if you are paying for some service or if your book is still in the editing – publishing process and frequent contact is still necessary.

In the above photo you’ll see that it took the company two weeks to respond …

Review

In my opinion, SBPRA may work for some, and it has been great for some authors, but it may also be the wrong fit for others. The negatives were too big for me. There were too many frustrations, in my case. So, you should be sure that this is what you’re looking for if you do decide to sign up.

If vanity publishing is the way to go for you, then I think that there are better vanity publishers than SBPRA out there.

SBPRA at a Glance…

Website: http://sbpra.net

Price: depends on the type of contract you select

Issues: editing, communication

Recommended: No

Verdict: legit

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8 thoughts on “SBPRA Publishing – Is it Worth it?

  1. SBPRA seems like a good service but I need good editing. I am very poor at grammar and spelling myself so I would need a good editor! Also good communication is a must for me. I wouldn’t be able to stand poor communication. 

    Is there a service that you find better than SBPRA and would recommend?

    1. Hi, Rowanvale Books is a vanity publisher that delivers excellent service. They are based in the UK. The staff is professional and they give great editing, formatting, and book cover design services. Communication is also great. I recommend Rowanvale Books highly. 

  2. Always happy to see a review that is written to help others determine if a platform is great to work with or if one shouldn’t think of working with it at all. Going through your post, it seems like SBRA has some pros as well as its cons too. I think that it it is safe to consider what it is that one wants before joining. For example, I wouldn’t be able to join in because i will have to pay more for my book to be on the fair and that’s not cool. Thanks for a well-detailed insight.

    1. SBPRA  certainly has some pros, I agree. Everyone needs to decide for themselves what they want from a company. i wouldn’t use them again, but they may work out for someone else. 

  3. Okay, this company looks like a good pick because of some of the good features i was able to hold on to from reading this post. The one with which i am most impressed is that the editor works very closely with the author to make the cover. That’s very nice. Is there a rundown of the prices on the website there and how is the support?

    1. A book cover designer always has to work closely with the author to create the cover, that is actually a must. So, I was glad that this company offered me that experience. Considering everything else though, I wasn’t impressed. Prices are given in emails from SBPRA. You can contact them on their site …

  4. I am very happy that I happened upon this article!  It’s a great review of SBPRA Publishing!  I can tell that you are being very honest, as you have very clearly discussed your own experience with the company.  I am sorry that you went through what you did.  I know hindsight is 20-20, and if you had to do it again, you would do it differently.  

    Writing is a passion of mine, and I’m just beginning to dabble into producing my own content and turning it into eBooks, etc.  Therefore, this review was a great way for me to get some questions answered.  Thank you so much for being honest about this company.  (I’m glad you had a great cover designer – I’m sure that was an exciting process!)  All the best to you as you continue your love for writing!

    1. Hello!

      Hindsight is indeed 20-20, that is very true. It was an experience and I’ve learned from it. 

      Good luck with your writing projects! If you want to publish, self publishing is also a good option, and the advantage of that is that you stay in control of everything. 

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