Author Publishing Services

FAQ

On this page we’ve tried to answer the questions that we are most commonly asked about the publishing services we offer.

What do you actually do?
We take your proof-read, perfect manuscript and format it so that it can be published as a print-on-demand paperback or as a kindle ebook. We charge £149 for each service, which covers the average ‘novel’ or ‘memoir’ (more details below)

We can also…

  • Create a unique, eye catching cover that’ll work in all sizes, in all formats (£150)
  • Ensure your book is listed correctly on Amazon (£40)
  • Format your non-fiction book for kindle or paperback (more details below)

Is there anything you don't do

  • We don’t proof read or correct any of your text
  • We don’t guarantee that your book will be a runaway success (or indeed, any kind of success).
  • We don’t market your book beyond what’s covered in our £40 promo pack
  • We don’t take a cut of your royalties.

In order to manage our time we also don’t do house visits, we resist making or receiving phone-calls, we stay off of skype, we don’t generally attend book launch parties (real or virtual), and we positively refuse to work what some would consider ‘normal’ office hours.

We’re happy to work with you via email though.

And friend you on facebook when the book’s complete.

Are you a publisher?
We are – but that’s not what we’re doing here. 
You’re publishing the book – we’re doing the work on your behalf.

How much do you charge?
Our prices start at £149 to correctly format the average ‘novel’ or ‘memoir’, and produce the files necessary to upload to amazon and publish an ebook OR a print-on-demand paperback.

We charge £150 to design and artwork a unique cover, that will work in all sizes, in any format – unless you already have this covered.

We can charge a further £40 to upload your files to amazon, generate the listing, create an amazon author page for you, show you how to review your sales, change the book’s price, and collect your royalties (we call this our ‘promo pack’)

Please see our prices page for full details of all the services we offer, and our terms and conditions page for details of what’s covered and what isn’t.

How much do you charge for non fiction?
We charge £249 to format a standard ‘non-fiction’ manuscript to kindle or paperback

In our experience non-fiction books are far more complicated than your average ‘novel’ or ‘memoir’. They have headings, sub-headings, bullet points, the odd diagram, pictures, citations, footnotes, perhaps even a glossary. If your book has any of these we’ll class it as ‘non-fiction’ for the purposes of our fee.

On the other hand, if your non-fiction book is only made up of standard text, paragraphs, and chapter headings, we’ll treat it as a novel and bill you as such (£149 for either format; paperback or kindle)

I want my book available everywhere!
For a further £149 we can format your book for all other ebook reading devices, and submit it to the likes of Apple (iTunes), Sony, Barnes & Noble, WHSmiths, etc.

Whilst any bookshop in the land should be able to order in your printed book (using the ISBN number – which is free by the way) we don’t currently have a method of getting onto bookshelves in bricks and mortar bookshops.

Our current feelings are that the average author should concentrate on making sure his or her book is available worldwide, in the world’s biggest bookshop (amazon), as both a paperback and a kindle ebook. Leave those other ‘channels’ until your sales warrant the investment.

Note: This fee is on top of what we will charge you to format for amazon, regardless of whether you choose to publish there.

Tell me more about ebooks.
Currently (November 2013) across the whole of the industry, electronic books account for 25% of all book sales in the UK (according to the bookseller). This figure is significantly higher in the US.

These days virtually every computer, smart phone and tablet computer is capable of reading ebooks. You don’t need a ‘kindle’ to read a kindle ebook.

As more and more titles are made available electronically, and the popularity of ebook devices grow, ebook sales can only rise.

There are however, several BIG differences between a printed book and an ebook. Some of those are…

Page Breaks
Pages don’t really exist in an ebook. The reader usually has complete control over the size of the font, and the reader’s device will also determine the number of words they see on ‘a page’. This is something you might need to think about if it’s important to you where the page breaks fall – or if you reference page numbers within the text of your book.

Headings (the size of)
Most ebook reading devices object to particularly large fonts. This means that you can’t have any especially large headings (on the title page for instance).

Footers
Very few ebook formats can cope with footers. If they’re important to you, you’ll need to find a way to bring them back into the body of the text

But the most important difference (we think so anyway) for the self-published author, is how much you can make from an ebook compared to a paperback. A £1.99 ebook is likely to sell more units, and make more per copy, than the £6.99 paperback version of the same book.

Tell me more about (print on demand) paperbacks
Not that long ago, producing a book as paperback meant printing a run of several thousand copies, storing them somewhere, and figuring out distribution. Now, more and more books are published as print-on-demand. When a book is purchased, one copy is printed, bound, and sent to the customer.

From the end customer’s point of view there is no difference between a traditionally printed book, and a print-on-demand book. They look and feel identical. From a publisher’s point of view a print-on-demand book has some distinct advantages (in terms of initial investment) and one major disadvantage (in terms of unit cost).

In our opinion however, there’s one really good reason for publishing your book as BOTH a paperback and an ebook. Currently (November 2013) sales on titles that are only available electronically tend to be significantly lower. It’s as if customers use ‘only available as an ebook’ as an indication that a book has been self-published - and rightly or wrongly self-published books still have a stigma attached. It’s a little like movies that used to go ‘straight to video’ – it was never a good sign. Publishing your title in BOTH formats immediately gives you and your book more credibility.

Can I see a proof copy before it's published?
We will send you a PDF proof copy of your ebook or paperback and talk you through how to check it for errors.
We’ll correct any errors that are down to us for free (if you find any – which we’re confident you won’t) – any errors that are down to you are billable (see the prices page)

It really is worth spending extra time and money making sure your manuscript is perfect before sending it to us.

How many changes can I make to the book when it's published?
Short answer: None.

If you discover a blooper that you just can’t live with we will correct it, but for a fee of £40 per hour (and you should probably allow for at least a couple of hours of work). If it’s cheaper to charge you to start again from scratch then that’s what we’ll do.

Remember: Our service does not include proof reading or editing. We won’t change a single word of your document – even if we spot what we think is an error. All your typos and errors will be perfectly formatted for all the world to see. Therefore, the manuscript you send to us should be the absolute best it can possibly be – we strongly recommend:

  1. having it read by a handful of people you trust to give you a brutally honest opinion, and once you’ve taken their advice
  2. paying a professional proof reader to stamp out any typos or grammar errors

What if I want to supply my own cover/artwork image?
You’re welcome to design your own cover. We can provide you with exact specifications.

If you want to provide us an image, from which we can create a cover, we’ll reduce our cover designing fee to £75

Note: For a printed book, images need to be 300 DPI. We can’t be held responsible for how any low-quality images look or work on your finished book – or whether amazon will accept them.

What do you need from me?
To provide a quote to format your book we only need the following:

  • Your perfect, proof-read manuscript in an electronic format we can use (text file, word document etc.)
  • Your cover art-work or cover image (if you wish to save on our cover designing fee)

In addition to the above we require the following to start work:

  • A short ‘book blurb’
  • A couple of paragraphs ‘about the author’
  • Full payment

Do you accept any manuscripts?
Mostly.

  • We only accept manuscripts that are in some form of electronic format we can use (we won’t retype hand written manuscripts, and we can’t accept PDFs – apologies).
  • We won’t work with any manuscripts that might expose our company to negative publicity or any potential legal ramifications.

I want to sell my book for £X.XX - is this possible?

Paperbacks
On paperbacks you must set your recommended book price higher than the unit cost

The unit price on a book of around 328 pages (87,000 words) is approx £6.70.
A significantly shorter book of 208 pages is approx £4.80

Amazon may discount your book. This is entirely up to them, but it shouldn’t affect your royalty percentage.

eBooks
You can sell your ebook for whatever you like! However from experience we’ve noticed that customers expect to pay around £1.99 or $2.99 for a book from an unknown author. Anything more than that will seriously damage your sales, and from a marketing point of view it’s far better to sell five copies for £1.99 than one copy for £9.95

Also, although it’s technically possible to price your ebook at less than £1.53 or $2.99, doing so will adversely effect your royalties (see below)

How many books can I reasonably expect to sell?
If you tell no one and do nothing you can reasonably expect to sell only a handful of books. We really are talking less than double figures. Ever.

We’ve found the success of a book is directly proportional to the amount of promotion. How ‘good’ your book is (ie. how well written it is, how great the plot is, how original the story…) will, ironically, make very little difference. Contrary to popular belief, books don’t “sell themselves”.

So, for instance.

  • Tell no one about your book and it will almost certainly sell zero copies
  • Tell ten people and your book might sell two copies
  • Tell one hundred people and your book might sell ten copies.
  • Write a stonking good book, tell 100 people, and those ten people who buy your book might tell another twenty or so people, of which five might by a copy. And so on.

Six tips for selling your book:

  1. Come up with a great title and subtitle. If it’s a non-fiction book make sure this includes all the key words someone is likely to type into google.
  2. Have someone design a fantastic cover. A bad cover will kill your book sales.
  3. “Buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book” doesn’t work as a marketing strategy. In fact it’ll do the reverse. Sell your book by not selling it.
  4. See yourself and the book as a brand. Be interesting, funny, attractive, informative, sexy… whatever it takes to get people to look at you (and therefore the book)
  5. Avoid telling anyone that your book is self-published. It’s published. That’s all there is to it. The term self-publishedwill kill your sales. (Euphemisms such as inde-publishing aren’t any better).
  6. Sell your book to readers, not other writers.

What's my royalty percentage?

ebooks
For a kindle ebook amazon currently pay 70% (once they’ve deducted £0.05 or $0.08 for ‘shipping’) unless you price your book less than £1.53 / $2.99, in which case the royalty drops to 35%

Paperbacks
On paperbacks your royalty is 60% of the difference between the recommended price you set, and the unit cost (amazon takes the other 40%).

The unit cost depends (amongst other things) on the number of pages.

The unit price on a book of around 328 pages (87,000 words) is approx £6.70.
A significantly shorter book of 208 pages is approx £4.80

Notes

  • Amazon US will deduct 30% (of your royalty) for the IRS. As a non-US citizen you can get this back if you (not us – sorry about that) complete the necessary US Government paperwork.

Do I have to pay full price if I'm ordering buying books for myself?
You can order (paperback) ‘author copies’ for less than the amazon list price.

A typical novel of 80,000 words will cost approximately $5.00 per book (prices are always in dollars). International shipping can be anything between $15.00 and $30.00 depending on how many items you order and how long you’re prepared to wait.

At present it’s not possible to purchase ebooks from amazon at a special ‘author’ discount. For no extra cost we can send you a PDF version of your book which can be sent to any kindle device / account.

When do I pay you?
We require payment up-front for all services. After an initial look at your manuscript we’ll send you a paypal request via email. The payment can be made by paypal account, credit or debit card. We will accept cheques if that’s easier.

We no longer accept IOUs, offers of profit share, any types of reciprocal arrangements, favours, or promises (be they of good fortune, other clients, or future work). Neither do we accept cash in paper bags, left under park benches. Apologies.

 

Where to next? Terms & Conditions