Paper Raven Books Review – Scam Or Legit?

Today, we are going to talk about Paper Raven Books. Is it legit? Find out more in this review.

It’s probably a dream of a lot authors to have their works published as actual books. Even though a lot more readers are saving space by buying reading tablets like Amazon’s Kindle, there is still a lot of people buying books from bookstores. There’s still no other feeling than opening a freshly bought book and smelling the ink and the paper. I know it sounds weird. But it’s something a lot of people do.

A lot of authors have went the self-publishing route. It’s hard to wait for a big name or an independent publisher to find their work and sign a contract with you. So, people have put matters into their own hands and decided to actually produce their own copies of their work. Sure, it may take a lot of money. But it’s probably all worth it in the end. Though, it doesn’t guarantee that everybody interest in your book is likely to buy it.

There have been a number of online training programs that teaches people how to self-publish their own book. Some of them lean more towards digital releases, especially through Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing platform. But there are also a number of other training programs that teach you the basics of formatting your manuscript into something that could be bound up into a book.

So when I learned of Paper Raevn Books, I was intrigued by what they were doing. At first I just shrugged it off as just another independent publisher. There are plenty of them out there. But maybe there’s something different about this one.

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Paper Raven Books Review: Quick Details

  • Name: Paper Raven Books
  • Founder: Morgan Gist MacDonald
  • Website: https://paperravenbooks.com/
  • Socials: Facebook, YouTube
  • Type: Training program, publishing company
  • Niche: Nonfiction writing, self-publishing
  • Recommendation: While it is great that they are offering budding authors help with getting an idea of theirs off the ground from ideation to publishing, the pricing for their services is definitely not something most authors can afford. You’re essentially putting tens of thousands of dollars into something that may or may not work. The nonfiction writing course that they previously offered seems to be decent. But not really affordable to a lot of people.

Who Is Morgan Gist MacDonald?

A screenshot of a video featuring Paper Raven Books founder Morgan Gist MacDonald

There is not a lot that you should know about Morgan Gist MacDonald with regards to her beginnings. It definitely seems irrelevant to this entire part. But we will talk about the moment she graduated from college.

Based on her profile on LinkedIn, Morgan graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in English Literature and Sociology. She then went to take up a master’s degree in Sociology at Vanderbilt University. During her time as an undegraduate, she worked as an editorial assistant for a publishing company for about two years. Most of her work experience was working in academia, mostly as a teaching assistant and as a tutor.

In 2013, Morgan decided to fully go into the freelancer route. She spent about three years working as a fulltime freelance editor. That was when she saw the process of how a lot of authors managed to earn money from publishing their books. So Morgan wanted to grow her business even further. So she turned to a website that offers a course on self-publishing, and the rest as they say was history. She was able to publish her own book called “Start Writing Your Book Today” because of the course that she took.

And that lead her to turn her freelance editing business into a full-fledged publishing company. It definitely took some work because starting your own publishing company doesn’t happen overnight. Because she had learned self-publishing through a course. Maybe she could also do something similar to that.

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What Is Paper Raven Books?

Paper Raven Books in the publishing company that Morgan Gist MacDonald started in September 2015. The name Paper Raven was something of a brand that Morgan was already using when she was working as a freelance editor. I haven’t really seen anything with regards to why she named her business Paper Raven. But it probably meant something to her. Maybe it was a reflection of her personality or a reference to something.

There are two different services that Paper Raven Books provides. The first was an online training program that would teach you how to write a nonfiction book. One good thing about the course is that it wasn’t really time-sensitive. Some of the training programs I reviewed often were meant to be finished within a certain time. Usually, about two months or so. But since the training program that Morgan offered was self-paced, it was easier to follow the course material without having to worry about keeping up with curriculum. Though, the freedom of that came with a price. And that price is $997. It’s definitely not bad considering that you get lifetime access to the course. But it’s not really something that most people could afford.

Based on the course outline, the course is not really that intensive. There are six modules to the course with about three videos each. The length of those videos vary per module. One of the longer videos has a runtime of 13 minutes and seven seconds. While the shortest is around 2 minutes and 52 seconds. I’m not really sure that the content inside the course justifies the almost $1,000 price tag. I could definitely see it hovering between the $300–400 range. But not $900.

What About The Other Service?

The other service that Paper Raven Books offers is a lot more involved compared to the nonfiction writing online training program. It’s definitely an upgrade compared to what Paper Raven Books initially offered.

Basically, Morgan and her team offers a service where the will help a writer develop their book from ideation to launch. That’s what I mean when I say that this particular service of theirs is a lot more involved. There are a total of four phases to this particular service. You can pay for whatever phase you want to if you’ve already done any of them. Or you could pay them for the entire process.

The first phase of their Publishing Success program focuses on book content development. It’s pretty much the phase where you focus on what kind of book idea would lend well to being published. Morgan’s team will help you assess whether or not your idea has what it takes to become a book that people will buy. Once that’s done, a coach will help you structure the book so that it flows well. Basically, you’re getting help writing your first draft.

The second phase focuses on editing. This is a normal part in the process. The first draft is never the one that gets published. There are a lot of back and forth between you and your editor. Yes, I’m aware that copywriters will often defer to you with regards to tone. But they also what to make sure that what you’re right makes sense.

Moving Into Phases 3 and 4

A screenshot of the pricing structure for Paper Raven Books' services

The last two phases of the process are geared towards the publication and launch of your book. Phase 3 mostly has to do with the layout of the actual book including cover design. It seems that the availability of the books that they publish through Paper Raven Books happens online. It seems that they’re not really printing books that get delivered to different bookstores. Instead, it’s a print-on-demand thing that Amazon does through its Kindle platform.

The last phase is focused on marketing. It seems that Paper Raven has an affiliate program where they market your book through their affiliate members. They also have a lot of other methods of marketing your book.

There are various payment structures depending on which phases you need help in. If it’s through all four phases, it’s a one-time payment worth $40,000 or an 11-part installment worth $4,000. Each phase costs $10,000 so you can definitely choose whatever kind of services you need.

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Final Verdict – Paper Raven Books Review

I definitely do not recommend either of the services that Morgan Gist MacDonald offers through Paper Raven Books. Neither of them seem to be affordable to people who to become nonfiction writers. As I have mentioned in a previous section, paying almost $1,000 for a six-part course doesn’t really make any sense. Especially since the entire course has a total runtime of about an hour and a half long. There’s not really a lot of technical knowledge that you’d gain from that course.

As for the Publishing Success program, it’s not really something that I would recommend either. Sure, it is expensive to hire an actual copyeditor to help you with your manuscript and all. But I don’t think that there any other publishing companies who are asking you for money just to see if your idea is worth an actual book. $40,000 is a lot of money to give up front. I’m not really sure if you will be able to recoup the costs once your book is up on whatever digital platform they’re going to sell it through. Though, it’s probably just going to be on Amazon.

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That’s it for my review of Paper Raven Books. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

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