Self-publishing (sometimes called Private Publishing ) is a term that covers a number of closely-related business models in which you, the author, pay to have your work published. Our model is based on us providing a number of services by which your manuscript gets turned into a viable book (either a physical book or an e-book). These services range from preparing the manuscript for publication and assigning an ISBN, through preparing artwork for the cover, generating publication files to be sent to the printer or e-book retailer, facilitating printing, and helping you with marketing and distribution as required. You choose which of these services you want to make use of, and pay us a fixed cost up front for providing them. You receive the physical copies of the book (unless you want us to provide distribution services) and receive all the money for selling each copy. You are responsible for marketing and selling your book, although we can help with this (as one of our services) if required. You retain all rights to the title. Some people describe this type of service as "packaging", a description we are quite comfortable with.
Getting published by a traditional publisher is very tough, and getting tougher. Most established authors will tell you that getting their first book published was a triumph of persistance or a matter of luck. Publishers and agents are deluged with manuscripts and do not have the resources to critically assess all of them. As an author, you are more likely to experience the frustration of a stock rejection letter than the pleasure of a critical appraisal of your work - whether it goes into print or not. This does not mean that your work is without merit. We have all read published books, sometimes from established authors, and thought "Wow! I could do better..." and some of us have spent years trying to do just that - only to be met with the dreaded rejection slip. But what if you have genuine talent? How can you get past the initial barriers put up by the publishing companies? How can you demonstrate to a major publisher or agent that you have the skill and determination to succeed in a highly competitive market place? Self-publishing is a practical approach. By getting your book into the hands of readers, you will get feedback from the people that matters - the readers - and start to build up a track record to show that you mean business.
That depends on what you consider a fortune to be! We think our cost structure is highly reasonable. A recent project for a manuscript which required very little editing cost about £400.00 for pagination, cover design and ISBN registration (printing 400 softback copies added another £1200.00 to the final total for this project). If you have spent a year working full-time on a manuscript, you would have given up considerably more than that in potential income from other sources, so by comparison this is a tiny amount to get your labour of love out where it belongs. And of course if you opt for e-book publication, there is no cost for "printing" at all. Please note that the exact cost of our services will vary from project to project, depending on what you require us to do - please contact us for a quotation.
You can if you want! But it's quite a lot of effort to do properly, especially for the first time, and you need to ask yourself if it's a good use of your time. We do this every day, and have the skills and experience to produce books quickly, efficiently, and to a professional standard. It's entirely up to you whether you want to spend time getting your book into production, or writing your next title.
You don't necessarily have to print any at all - your book could be published as an e-book. In fact we would advise all aspiring authors to consider e-book publication as much as possible in the first instance to simplify storage and distribution issues. But there's nothing quite like the feel of a newly printed book, and it is really satisfying to see all your hard work in tangible form. How many you print is up to you; but we suggest you shouldn't commit to print any more than you are confident that you can sell, or you require to give away to reviewers, colleagues or friends. We can arrange to have printed as many or as few copies as you need, at the most competitive prices.
Selling printed books requires time and effort - there's no way of getting round that. We can help you, of course, but much of this effort is down to you. You need to consider as many ways as possible of meeting potential readers and taking books with you for direct sales. You should offer your work on your own website (we can help you with that) and plan a marketing campaign with posters and review copies sent to influential reviewers (we can help you with that too). We can also help you to get your book registered on the websites of major bookshop chains - although be warned that they will want a significant commission to put your book on their shelves. In short, we will help you put together a viable sales strategy for your book, but the final effort (and reward) lies with you. Of course, if you opt for e-book publication, you won't have this problem - which is why we encourage new authors to consider e-books first.
You might make none at all. It depends on a lot of things: how good your book is in the eyes of the reader, how effective your marketing is, how much effort you put into your sales promotions, and, frankly, how lucky you are. You might be best advised to think of your first project strictly as a not-for-profit endeavour designed to establish you in the marketplace: that way, if you don't make money, you won't be disappointed; and if you do, it's a nice bonus. Having said that, think of this: suppose you spend £500 on publishing an e-book, and another £500 on printing promotional copies which are sent out to reviewers at newspapers, magazines and websites. Further suppose that you price your e-book attractively and aim to take £1.00 per copy in royalties. That would mean that you would only have to sell 1000 copies to recover your costs. With upwards of 20 million e-book readers in use - a number that is growing every day - that figure is not unreasonable.
For us? Well, we'll look to be paid for the professional services we provide. If you decide to sell your e-book through our e-book store, we'll take a small commission on each sale. But - let's make no bones about it - we do this because we like taking manuscripts and making something beautiful and desirable out of them. We love what we do!